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Start a conversation about mental health today

Catherine Hammond Smaller 2
Start a conversation about mental health today
03 February 2022

Today is Time to Talk Day (3 February) and this day marks a national initiative to encourage conversations about mental health, bringing friends, families, communities, and workplaces together to talk, listen and to help change lives.

This annual event aims to work towards ending mental health discrimination. Having conversations offers people the opportunity to be open and honest about their mental health and helps to empower them to seek help when they need it.

We have a team of 11 Lived Experience Peer Support Workers who all have lived experience of mental health at some point in their lives. Their role is to help support patients by listening to them and encouraging them to talk about their mental health throughout the year, ensuring they can talk openly about how they feel.

Catherine Hammond, Peer Support Worker(pictured), explains how important it is for people to be able to share their experiences with someone else along their recovery journey: “In my role as a Peer Support Worker I spend nearly all of my time listening and talking with the people I work with. We explore feelings together, share experiences, learn from each other and enjoy spending time together.

“We help each other to progress on our mental health journeys by working alongside one another, to make goals and plans for the future. Listening and talking are essential for my job, and for life in general. Some days I listen and talk to so many different people that I can come home exhausted, but extremely happy. It's my dream job!”

For people who are struggling with their mental health, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s Isle Talk IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) self-referral service offer cognitive behavioural therapies to support people experiencing stress, anxiety and mild depression. They also offer a number of free workshops which aim to provide strategies to help manage these conditions and to maintain wellness.

These include: 

Isle Talk IAPT Stress Control Workshops:
These sessions are for anyone aged 18 or over, experiencing stress, who want to understand how stress effects their thinking, body and actions, and want to learn techniques to manage this day to day. The workshops take place online for a period of six weeks, with weekly sessions offered either during a morning slot (9.30am to 10.30am) or early evening slot (5pm to 6pm).

Managing Anxiety- Dealing with Worry Workshop:
This workshop is a four-session course designed for those who regularly feel overwhelmed by anxiety and worry and is focused on providing people with knowledge and skills to manage worry and relaxation skills. 

The workshop take place online with four sessions, offered consecutively each week, with each session lasting up to an hour each. They are offered either during an early evening slot (5pm to 6pm).

Laura Brock, Team leader for Isle Talk IAPT Services said: “We are aware of how difficult the past couple of years have been for people, with many experiencing substantial changes to their daily routines, some are grieving the loss of a loved one, and many have had less opportunities to connect with others. This has had a significant impact on people’s wellbeing and their mental health.

“Every conversation about mental health helps to eliminate stigma and to generate an environment where people feel comfortable talking about their mental health concerns, ensuring they can seek the support they need before things feel out of control.

“It is important to talk to family and friends about how you are feeling and if you are struggling, to seek professional support early on, just in the same way that you’d raise any concerns about your physical heath symptoms. We encourage people not to delay getting in touch with our Isle Talk IAPT team for an assessment to get the support they need.”

How to get in touch with Isle Talk IAPT Services:

You do not need a GP referral to access IAPT services, you can self-refer to Isle Talk IAPT by calling: 01983 532860. You will then be booked in for a telephone assessment, and then onto the course, if it is appropriate to meet your needs.

Find out more about our Isle Talk IAPT Service.

Join the online conversation using: #TimeToTalk

Photo: Catherine Hammond, Lived Experience Peer Support Worker


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