The message of Time To Talk Day 2021 is simple: a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.
At Champion, we know that’s true. We also know that we all have mental health. The more conversations we have, the more barriers we break down and the less isolation and shame for everyone.
We’ll never miss a chance to talk about mental health. So, this year for Time to Talk Day, we’re getting involved by sharing some of our personal thoughts on mental health.
Harry Bliss – Co-Founder and CEO
“Opening up about my mental health struggles in 2015 changed my life. I can’t express the difference it made. Part of my mission now is to help men realise that speaking is a sign of strength, not weakness.”
Rachel Cholerton – Wellbeing Lead
“Mental health has always been part of my life and is something that I’m constantly working on. I always try to be aware of my moods and feelings, and if something’s not quite right, I’ll take the time to figure out how I can manage it.
“One of the biggest steps I’ve taken in the past year is attending therapy for anxiety and a long-standing phobia I experience (emetophobia, or a fear of throwing up). This isn’t a well-known phobia, but it affects approximately 6-7% of women and 1-3% of men. Phobias can have a huge impact on people’s day-to-day activities, but working with an experienced therapist can really help individuals in taking back their lives.
“If you suffer from anxiety or any type of phobia, remember that you aren’t alone. There are online communities and mental health professionals that can help. Talking to someone can be scary, but it is often (and was for me) a huge relief. For a long time, I thought I was the only one who suffered from emetophobia – but you soon realise that you’re not on your own in managing your mental health, and there is light at the end of the tunnel!”
Joe Pindar – Wellbeing Executive
“It sometimes feels to me as though mental health is seen as something that has come about recently, like camera phones or social media. But it’s important to remember that mental health is not just an issue for young people.
“No matter how old we are, we all have mental health, and we’ve all always had it. All that has changed now is the awareness around mental wellbeing, and the ease of access to support.
“So, on Time To Talk Day, I think we need to recognise the importance of talking about your mental health, no matter how old you are.
“The stats suggest that mental health still remains a taboo topic in the eyes of some. For instance, 93% of companies offer an Employee Assistance Programme (counselling helpline), yet only 2-4% of employees utilise it. This shows that there’s still a reluctance to open up about our mental wellbeing, especially in the workplace. I believe that by sparking discussions around mental health, we can change this. The more people talk about their mental health, the closer we will get to creating an environment where opening up about how you are feeling becomes the norm.
“I hope we can do this, because no matter how old you are, looking after your mental health remains as important as ever.”
Alex Bennett – Marketing Lead
“Through school, I can’t recall a single conversation in the classroom – or outside – about mental health. This made it harder to understand how I was feeling, and the idea of talking openly about my own mental health was completely alien.
“What I now know is that I was suffering from moderate anxiety, consistently for about six years. I only realised how much it was affecting my life when I noticed the difference after being prescribed medication. Ultimately, I didn’t need to suffer for so long; if I had talked about my mental health in my early twenties, my life would have been dramatically different.”
Richard Allman – Head of Operations
“Good mental health gives me the space I need to fully engage with the people around me and the things in the life that matter the most to me.
“It helps me live in the moment, build better relationships, perform at work and view myself positively. I’ve always been my own biggest critic and far too hard on myself.
“Learning to be kinder to myself has been the most impactful step I’ve taken so far in 2021. Taking time to talk about my worries with those closest to me has given me the confidence to get excited again about life’s ‘unknowns’ and to let go of all the ‘what ifs’.”
Written by Alex Bennett, Marketing Lead, Champion Health