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National ‘Time to Talk’ day took place on Thursday, Week 4. LUSU Gives participated by organising an event in the County Bar with music, drinks and the reading of submitted poems about mental health issues. The nationwide initiative was organised by Mind, a national mental health support charity, collaborating with LUSU.
‘Time to Talk’ is a campaign held across England and Wales. It promotes the importance of talking about mental health issues, with its aim to change the general public’s attitude towards such issues.
Students were invited to submit poems, short stories and monologues. The topic was dealing with mental health issues like depression rooted in pressure, anxiety and bipolar, as well as the stigma that is attached to these mental health issues. Students were also encouraged to read out their works during the event. Some of them shared their personal experience, while some shared their experience of watching a loved one deal with mental health problems.
“I think it’s a really good way to raise awareness….and to get rid of the stigma” said Faron Jones, one of the poets who read out her piece.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how many people are suffering from mental health problem,” said one of the members of the audience in the event. Several audience members at the event told SCAN that there is still stigma attached to mental health, though several acknowledged that people are increasingly aware of the importance of talking about mental health issues.
Lizzie Morrison, Director of Nightline – a nationwide volunteer dependent hotline run by students for students which provides support – was also present at the event. Morrison spoke of the service, with particular emphasis on their new features: including extended phone hours, instant messaging and Skype calls.