Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the national Time to Talk campaign to encourage conversations around mental health.
Time to Talk Day is taking place on Thursday 7th February and it is all about bringing together the right ingredients to have a conversation about mental health. Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet people are often afraid to talk about it. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health.
Events will be held at both Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley District Hospital on the day to encourage colleagues to come together and talk about mental health concerns, and discuss services available to support mental health at work and in the local community. Liz Tallentire, Clinical Psychologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, will be on hand to meet colleagues and talk to them on the day.
Liz said: “Talking to a friend or colleague can be one of the most valuable avenues of support for our mental health and it’s often underestimated. We may be reluctant to talk due to worries about the impact on the other person, which in fact can often be positive. It can feel good to be there for someone else and it opens up opportunity for the other person to talk too.”
“It’s important not to underestimate the power of listening to others, for many people being listened to is all they need to stay psychologically healthy. If we do need professional support or therapy, talking it through with a friend or colleague is an important first step. It is common to find others have had similar experiences.”
Bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have made a clear commitment to supporting the mental health of staff through the national ‘Time to Change’ campaign with a special Employer’s Pledge signed at the end of last year. The pledge demonstrates the commitment of the organisation to think and act differently about mental health in the workplace and make sure any staff facing problems feel supported.
Underpinning this is the development of a comprehensive action plan to improve awareness of mental health amongst colleagues, increase the support available in the workplace and continue to foster an open and supportive culture whereby it is as normal to talk about mental health as it is physical health.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We want a workplace where everyone – no matter what their job role or grade – feels able to openly talk about their own mental health, or feels comfortable and confident in listening to a colleague who might be having mental health difficulties.”
“Sadly, we hear far too often how difficult people find it to open up to loved ones, friends and colleagues about their mental health. So by making this pledge, we are making an absolute commitment as an employer, to do our utmost to break down the stigma around mental ill-health. We don’t want anyone to feel scared or ashamed to speak up or seek help, or feel unable to support someone else.”