Hartlepool people urged to be more open about mental health

People are being encouraged to speak more openly about mental health.
People are being encouraged to speak more openly about mental health.

People in Hartlepool and East Durham are being urged to take advantage of a new national awareness campaign that encourages people to speak more openly about mental health – and to find safe, non-confrontational spaces to talk.

The aim of the initiative, launched by Ford and partnered with “Time to Change”, an established mental health campaign run by the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, aims to reduce the stigma surrounding discussions on mental health.

Around one in four people in the UK experiences mental health problems, and young men in particular have been identified as vulnerable.

Only a third of men (34%) would talk openly about their feelings, while just under one third (31%) said they would be embarrassed about seeking help for a mental health problem.

A national public awareness film, promoting the front seat of a vehicle as a safe space to talk, found that over two-thirds (675) of people said they were more comfortable talking about issues when in a vehicle.

“One in four of us go through mental health issues at some point in our lives, so it really affects us all, be it through personal experience or through the people we know,” said Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director, Andy Barratt.

“Ford is an important part of society and we want to use that relationship to reach as many people as possible and encourage them to ask one simple question – “is everything OK?”

Director of Time to Change, Sue Baker, said: “Ford’s support will help hit home the message that we all have a role to play in looking out for one another’s mental health.

“Talking about mental health doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room.

“Having a mental health problem can be incredibly isolating, but knowing that there are people around you who care, and will listen without judgement, can make all the difference.”

Ford and Time to Change have also come together to create five “top tips” as a starting point to help people to spot the signs and offer the necessary support:

They are: Text/Call Reach out – start small; find a good time and place; go for a coffee; ask how they are – listen without judging and treat them the same.