Time to Talk Day 2023
IMRY is delighted to support 'Time to Talk Day' which for 2023 falls on 2 February. Happening every year, 'it is a day for friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and change lives'.
'Time to Talk Day' is a UK-wide initiative run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op. The day aims to highlight the value of talking about mental health and, by encouraging conversations with family, friends and colleagues about mental health, to foster more supportive communities. We all have mental, as well as physical, health that needs protecting and it is important for us each to be both more aware and take greater care of this aspect of our wellbeing. One way of doing this is to remember to ask ourselves each day how we are feeling. Likewise to check in with those around us. This could be as simple as sending someone a short email or text to see how they are doing - it can have such a positive effect on motivation, judgement and mood.
There is a large amount of stigma and misperception around the experience of mental health challenges and having honest, open-minded and respectful conversations can help here. The more awareness is raised and prejudice and fear challenged, the more likely it is that difficulties will be identified at an earlier stage and effective support given, reducing the chance of escalation.
MIND and Rethink Mental Illness have provided top tips about being open to the idea of talking and starting a conversation with others. At the University, there are dedicated web pages that provide information about support for staff, student support and self-help methods. However you choose to do so, please do consider making space for a conversation about mental health for 'Time to Talk' Day. Remember though that talking about mental health is important not just on this day but every day.
Activity at the University of York
The ambition of the Movember-funded BALM project is to develop, deliver and evaluate a gender-sensitive behavioural activation (BA) programme as an early intervention for low mood and anxiety in male frontline NHS workers (this includes both clinical and non-clinical roles such as estates). Because of stigma and unhelpful masculine stereotypes, male frontline workers are often particularly reluctant to acknowledge, talk about or seek help for mental health concerns. There are currently no mental health interventions tailored to men working in the NHS and BALM aims to better equip them to deal with workplace stress using simple, practical strategies, so they feel better and stay well.
Read more about BALM on the project website: https://balmprogramme.co.uk/
The University of York runs Schwartz Rounds for students at Hull York Medical School and the Department of Health Sciences as a way of reflecting on the emotional, ethical and social challenges - and impact - of their work. The aim of Schwartz Rounds is to increase compassion for ourselves, each other, and those for whom we care, normalise emotions such as vulnerability, promote connectedness, and create a culture of openness.
Schwartz Rounds are named after an American healthcare lawyer, Ken Schwartz, who in 1994, aged 40 years, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. During his 10-month illness, he saw the importance of the human connections between staff and patients, saying that “the smallest acts of kindness made the unbearable bearable.” A Schwartz Round is an interdisciplinary discussion forum – with up to 30 people - designed for staff in healthcare to come together and reflect on the emotional, ethical and social aspects of their work, whatever the setting they are working on and in whatever role or capacity. Each Round has a topic (e.g. "a patient/service user I will never forget") and three panellists tell a story around this topic for 5 mins. The stories are the jumping off point for a discussion with the audience members about the moral or professional issues that the stories raise in their minds, the emotions and thoughts that the stories evoked for them, and the connections they made with their own experiences.