Mental health stigma: Call to Fifers to join in ‘Time To Talk’ day
People across Fife are being encouraged to get talking as one of their new year’s resolutions – as research reveals that a quarter of Scots don’t feel comfortable speaking about their own mental health.
The research from See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination, shows that there are still barriers to people speaking up about how they’re feeling.
To change that, the organisation is calling for people to get involved in this year’s Time to Talk Day.
It takes place on February 3, and is UK’s biggest mental health conversation.
It will run as a mix of online and in-person events and activities.
Jamie Donoghue, a See Me spokesman, has struggled with anxiety and agoraphobia since the age of 18.
For him, a simple conversation was key to getting the help and support he needed.
Jamie said: “For the longest time, I didn’t really understand exactly what I had. I didn't discuss it with anyone.
“The day that things started to get better was the day I went to my mum and said, ‘Mum, I've got a problem here, there's something going on, I've got an issue.’
“So much of my life was controlled by anxiety.
“When I first spoke about it, it felt like a weight off my shoulders. The moment I talked about it, I also started losing the stigma over it. And every extra person I told about it, I felt a little less shame about what I had, I felt like I was taking ownership of it.”Jamie encouraged people to have a conversation.
He said: “Even just ask a friend how they are.
“If you notice someone who's maybe cancelling plans a bit more, maybe you'll notice slight differences in them – quite often, there's a lot going on under the surface. I found it quite difficult to pluck up the courage to talk.
“I’d really like people to take the opportunity to perhaps not just speak to others if you’re struggling, but speak to your friends if you think there's something wrong with them.”
Full details are on the See Me website at https://www.seemescotland.org/seeus/campaigns/time-to-talk/time-to-talk-day-2022/