Time to Talk Day takes place every year on the first Thursday of February. It was created to aim to get people all around the United Kingdom talking about mental health, a topic which has, in the past, been something which was almost never spoken about. So, what do people do to mark this day?

After weeks of planning, the mental health ambassadors of Tolworth Girls School, who are in year 9-11, were able to allow students around their school to talk about mental health. Around the school, there were many different opportunities to have a conversation with someone. The tables of the canteen each had a conversation card on them to encourage conversation between students and teachers sat in the foyer with ‘talk to me’ signs to allow students to talk to them about anything they wanted to.

In the afternoon, the mental health ambassadors visited each of the forms in years 7 and 8 to teach them about mental health and how they can support someone who may be struggling with theirs. They gave a presentation about what mental health problems and stigma are and how we can create a more supportive society for those struggling with their mental health. After the presentation, each student was given a pledge card to write a pledge on to create a more supportive society.

The pledges written included “I pledge to always be there for someone feeling down” and “to ask if anyone’s OK twice even though there may not be anything wrong”. Students also gave the school advice including “We could have a box inside our form room and you could write your worries on there and every day the teacher opens it” and “to take time to listen to our friends and help them feel better”.

Mental health may still remain a topic which is hard to talk about to this day but hopefully, in the future, through events like Time to Talk Day, we can create an inclusive society for all, regardless of their mental health where everyone feels supported.

By Isabella Topley, Tolworth Girls School.