Time to Talk

Mental health problems affect one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For people with mental health problems not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness. So by getting people talking about mental health we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.


On 4 February 2016 you got the nation talking about mental health. 68,199 conversations were logged by midnight on an interactive map divided by county. West Midlands won with 12,876 conversations. The map was kept open for one week beyond Time to Talk Day, the final total reached 86,747 conversations. 


On 5 February 2015 we asked everyone to take 5 minutes out of their day to have a conversation about mental health. We aimed to reach 24 hours' worth of conversations and were overwhelmed by the final results: 22 days, 1 hour and 5 minutes. Together we know we can break the silence and end the stigma. 


On 6 February 2014 we asked you to have 1 million conversations about mental health - and you did it! Taking part online, at home, at work and in schools around the country you brought us 1 million conversations closer to ending mental health stigma.

2011 and 2012

We launched the new campaign name 'it's time to talk, it's Time to Change' in March 2011 with activity on TV, radio, press, digital, ambient and an excellent PR campaign working with Frank Bruno and his daughter Rachel among others talking about how talking about mental health changed their lives. Time to talk continues to run throughout 2012 with a large burst of activity in Jan 2012.

The advertising highlights the awkwardness and fear that stops many people from talking about mental health. For the first time the campaign uses humour to engage the audience. The adverts use ridiculous, over the top scenarios to convey the thoughts going through the mind of a person who is wondering whether to ask how a friend or colleague is feeling after recovering from a mental health problem. The adverts end with the 'real' scenario which reveals that the friend or colleague actually just appreciated the simple gesture of being asked and nothing scary happened at all. You can watch the TV advert at the bottom of this page.

How did the campaign do?

81% of adults in England recognised seeing the campaign after the January/February 2012 burst of activity. This is a fantastic result.

Over 4,000 pledges to talk about mental health were made and over 153,000 new visitors came to the website to find out more about the campaign.

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