New social movement aiming to end the stigma around mental health launches in Buckinghamshire
An exciting new approach to get everyone in Buckinghamshire talking more about mental health launches this week.
The Time to Change Buckinghamshire hub will be launched at this year’s ‘Busk for Bucks Mind’ event on Friday 6 July.
Time to Change is a growing national social movement that aims to change how we all think and act about mental health, to help end the stigma and discrimination attached to it.
The Buckinghamshire hub is a new partnership of local organisations and mental health champions committed to improving local attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems. The County Council and Bucks Mind are lead partners for the Buckinghamshire hub, with wider support from organisations and individuals from across the county.
The aim of the Buckinghamshire hub is to support residents, communities, workplaces and schools to help end the negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems. The ethos behind the hub is to put people with personal experience of mental health at the heart of the work.
Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement & Public Health, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting this important work in Buckinghamshire.
“We want to create a movement in the county where people feel comfortable talking about mental health problems, so that talking about mental health becomes a part of our everyday life.
“We’re looking forward to working together with our partners, volunteers and residents across the county to make a real difference to change how we all think and act about mental health.”
Key to achieving the hub’s goal of ending mental health stigma in the county is to put people with personal experience of mental health conditions at the heart of its work. Time to Change Champions are local people who have lived or are living with mental health conditions and are happy to talk or share their experiences with others.
Time to Change Champions are being sought to work at the heart of the Buckinghamshire hub’s activity. The Time to Change Champions Fund is also being launched this week; the fund will make awards of up to £500 to Champions, to support them to carry out social contact activities in communities to help end mental health stigma in Buckinghamshire. Anyone who is happy to talk about or share their experience can apply for support from the fund. Projects can be anything that will involve social contact, from a coffee morning or a craft session, to a drama event or sports activity.
Martyn Walsh, a Buckinghamshire Mind Trustee, says: “The Time to Change movement is very simple and effective. All it needs is Time to Change Champions – local people who are willing to talk about their experiences. This could be at a coffee morning, at a school or simply with your parents and family members; in fact wherever you like. Just talk about what was hard or what has helped or anything else that helps people understand more about mental health. Then the person you talk to can go on to talk about mental health or their own experiences with other people, and so the movement will grow.
“We aren’t doctors or psychology students who know all the lingo. We are normal people who have struggled. Maybe it is depression or anxiety, schizophrenia or post-natal depression.
“A Time to Change Champion has a desire to help others, to educate and to spread awareness. Please get involved with Time to Change Buckinghamshire and help us to get everyone in Bucks talking about our mental health in the same way that we talk about our physical health.”
To find out more about the Buckinghamshire hub and how to get involved or how to become a Champion, go to www.buckscc.gov.uk/timetochange
Busk for Bucks Mind, which will host the Buckinghamshire hub’s launch, is a benefit gig that aims to raise funds for Buckinghamshire Mind’s mental health services and raise awareness of mental health. This year it is being held on Friday 6 July, from 5.30pm till late, at Dukes (formerly Shootpool), Aylesbury. The compere for this year’s gig is Andy Holmes, a Time to Change Champion and BBC Three Counties reporter/presenter. The event will feature a host of incredible local musical talent, both acoustic and electric, including El Bronson, Nightjar, The Respites, Harry Quinn, JP&betty, Suzy Bee, Jim Marvin, The Recovered and Róisín Johnston. The whole event will be kicked-off with Bucks Mind’s own band, consisting of members of a therapeutic music group.