Being a Time to Change Young Champion has given me a voice

Becoming a Time to Change Young Champion has completely changed the way I live; it has given me the confidence to talk openly, without shame or fear, about my mental health. I no longer feel I need to lie about my experiences, or worry that conversations about my health will make others and myself feel uncomfortable. I have learnt a lot by sharing my experiences and I hope I have helped others too.

I campaign to change mental health attitudes because no one should go through what I did

I first properly experienced mental health issues at the age of 15 was when, and with this came a lot of damaging attitudes and actions. When I started going to therapy for treatment of depression and anxiety, I was still at school and my peers told me that ‘I didn’t look like a psycho’, which is kind of a backwards compliment that made me feel I had to be sicker.

Why I campaign to change mental health attitudes in BME communities

My name is Garrick; I currently live in Wirral, part of Liverpool city. Although I have lived here for over 25 years, I am not a native of this region; my UK roots are from South London. However, my original roots are from Jamaica; land of sunshine, reggae and Jerk – just one of many exotic dishes found on this island!

Marty and Fran: Why we are Time to Change Champions

I don’t know how typical this is, but most of the Time to Change Champions I’ve met have personal experience of mental illness, their own or someone they care about. My own story starts 2011 when I met American writer and photographer Fran Houston on Facebook. Fran lives with bipolar disorder, also chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She was intensely manic and frequently suicidal.

Finding my voice as a Time to Change Young Champion

Three years ago, I lost my voice. I could still say what I was expected to, say what people wanted me to, say whatever I was told to, but I couldn’t seem to find my voice. I could say whatever anyone needed me to, anyone but me. My voice had been almost silenced by the people around me. I was made quieter by the people who called me selfish, the people who thought I was weak, the people who convinced me I wasn’t worth their time or energy, all because of my worsening mental health.

A day at the Children and Young People Bristol Roadshow

On Tuesday 1 March, we hosted our third children and young people Roadshow event aimed at the voluntary sector, schools and others working with children and young people. At the event, a panel of young people and representatives from YoungMinds, Off the Record Bristol and the British Youth Council spoke about their personal experiences of mental health problems and the opportunities for local services to engage in joint working and share their learning to tackle stigma and discrimination.

My friend just listens - it makes a world of difference

Watch Jessica Jayne's vlog about the small things her friend Harvey does to help her with her mental health. 



Jessica Jayne: Hi I'm Jessica Jayne, and I'm here to talk to you about the #smallthings campaign that Time to Change is running. This campaign is all about the small things you can do to help others when they are going through a hard time.

Talking about mental health with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

An interview with young Time to Change champion, Nikki Mattocks, at today's event with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge:

Q: So what have you been feeling run-up to today?

"I was a bit nervous about such high profile people being there, but I know that at the end of the day they're still just people like everyone else really... Just royal!"

A Royal visit for World Mental Health Day

This live blog will be updated through the day. 


Today we're excited to say that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be meeting with a group of young Time to Change champions to talk about stigma and discrimination in mental health. It's exciting to see such high profile support for such an important issue. 

I spoke up about facing stigma in treatment and it led to positive change

Sitting in a board room full of heads of nursing and other patients and their representatives, I felt scared. In fact, I felt very scared. I don’t know where my courage came from but I felt I had to speak about what mattered to me.

So, I spoke up. It was time to talk. 

Why I use my mental health experience to inspire others

I wanted to write this blog for a few reasons: to try to inspire others to challenge mental health stigma; to give a message of hope, and to show that it's worth continuing to campaign because in my experience things are starting to change. Yes, stigma still exists and continued work is needed but my story regarding employment issues has a positive ending.

Stigma and compassion - why it really does matter what people say and do

I was distressed, confused: often tearful.Sheila's blog I remember that bit. Looking back over a decade later, I'm pretty sure I was annoying, too.

Barbara – not her real name – paid attention, unlike some of her colleagues. I can't remember if this particular conversation happened before, or after, she took time out to plait my hair. To encourage me to eat.

The legacy of Becki Luscombe

It was just a little more than a year ago year ago when people in this movement and many others used their experiences, voice and collective ‘muscle’ to stand up to two household names who were stocking offensive Halloween costumes with “mental patient” and “psycho ward” themes.

After so many years of working to improve public understanding and attitudes towards mental health problems and those of us with them, when the supermarkets withdrew the costumes, apologising and making donations this was an historic milestone.  Becki Luscombe was at the very heart of this.

Stigma is powerless ash at my feet: How speaking out has transformed me

Join me. 

February 1998. Shell-shocked after a nervous breakdown. I receive my mental illness diagnosis. I have bipolar disorder.

On the wobbly new-born legs of a new identity. I had crossed that big fat safe line between “us” - the sane, and “them” - the mad. I was one of "them". I lost my glamorous, well paid job in the West End of London managing A list celebrities. I was Mentally Ill. For life. I was only 25.

My B and Me

I wrote this poem during a hypomanic phase stage recently. The first time I was published on the Time to Change website I was actually working in marketing and wanted to get out of the corporate world. Through sheer passion and determination I somehow landed a job within mental health services on the South Coast for Solent Mind. I was at a reflective stage in my life and I was just coming to terms with my diagnosis.

Jonny Benjamin and the Janey Antoniou Award: "I'm so proud to be recognised for mental health campaigning"

It was a complete surprise to receive the call telling me I had won the Janey Antoniou award from Rethink Mental Illness. (Rethink Mental Illness is one of the charities behind Time to Change, along with Mind). Jonny

Being open about my mental health at an African and Caribbean community event

Time to Change blogger SteveStereo-Hype Festival 2014 took place at the Midlands Art Centre (MAC) in one of Birmingham’s amazing green spaces, Cannon Hill Park. The 2-day event aimed to promote the wellbeing of African and Caribbean communities through a program of art, performances and discussion.

Stand Up Kid, Stand Up Teacher - talking about mental health in a school

As a ‘Time to change Champion' you get to have many interesting conversations with lovely people, usually one to one, but every so often you get a wonderful opportunity to talk to groups. One of these opportunities led to potentially the best conversation of my life, and a critical moment in my recovery, all at a Time to Change event. There was a little issue with this group that I was stood in front of, besides my wife, her colleagues and friends, a former teacher of mine, and just over 200 year 9’s (13 and 14 year olds) in a large Comprehensive school.

Being part of a movement that strives for improvement - Time to Change Champion Will's Story

In this video Will talks about his involvement with Time to Change, and how his friends have reacted to him coming out about his mental health problems.

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Sharing my experience of mental health through cricket

I first heard about Time to Change when, as a fan of cricket, I read about England player Michael Yardy’s battle with depression which effectively ended his international career. This struck a chord with me because of my own problems with depression and anxiety, and I know how frustrating and debilitating it can be.

First steps to becoming a Champion and Speaking Out

In the eulogy at my brother’s funeral I challenged everyone.  Would they stand with me to challenge perceptions of schizophrenia and especially the inappropriate and liberal use of the term ‘schizo’?  That was almost nine years ago.  I have made some contribution in the intervening years, continuing to volunteer at a mental health drop-in centre and then serving as one of its trustees.  Owing to cuts in funding I then presided over the closure of the c

The golden idea that inspired me to speak out about my anorexia

Mosaic tilesI recently attended a Time to Change Champions' event and spoke for the first time in front of so many people about living with, fighting with, loving, hating and trying to recover from anorexia nervosa. After I'd spoken I was touched by the kind words of the other people attending the event and I felt proud that I'd managed to, in a small way, bring comfort or provide insight to other people.

Talking about mental health through poetry

I have for many years struggled with anxiety and depression. I'm in no doubt now that this is due to a very traumatic childhood. I am not complaining about this as this is a fact of life for many people.

I lost my father at about 11 years old and my mam re-married rather quickly to a very violent man. As I was growing up my mam was very fragile and consequently over the years I developed post traumatic stress disorder but this was not picked up on until very recently.

Celebrating World Mental Health Day at the House of Commons

What a way to celebrate World Mental Health Day. I was given the most amazing opportunity and was invited to the Terrace Pavillion at the House of Commons to celebrate parliament’s work in challenging mental health discrimination with Time to Change and charities Mind and Rethink.

The 'B' Word

HeleneSome people suffer from debilitating anxiety, others have a fear of buttons and some can’t get out of bed in the morning. Some people are straight, some are gay and others have no preference whatsoever. Some people have blue eyes, some people have brown eyes and some have one of each. Some people see the similarities in each other, some only see the differences and others are blinded by ignorance.

Speaking out about my mental health experience at my college

The last time I saw my diagnosis a couple of years ago at the age of 14; I had emerging borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, recurring depressive disorder and high levels of anxiety. But the hardest thing for people to understand is the fact that I hear voices.

Attending a Champions Networking Event

SharonHaving already volunteered at Brighton Pride and the Legal and General Family Fun Day this year, I thought that attending the Time to Change South East Champions networking day in Ashford would be a good opportunity to reflect on my journey over the summer months.  I also wanted to investigate whether there were any new developments which may be of interest to me and to explore other areas where I could extend my work as

Volunteering at a pop-up event in Newcastle

AndrewWhen I was first diagnosed with clinical depression by my GP, I felt ashamed to tell people about my condition and did not talk about it. This was a feeling I got from people - the attitude that we do not tell people about having a mental health condition, and hearing people say “why is he telling people that he is depressed?”

Brighton Pride – our presence with Time To Change

As many of you may know, Brighton Village was held on Saturday 3rd August 2013. When I am home for the summer, Brighton is just over an hour on the train away so I knew I had to go this year. I have been a huge supporter of Time to Change for a long time now and am a registered Champion. I applied for a volunteering position with them at the beginning of June.

Volunteering at a blog-in at a Newcastle art studio

MarianFor a mental health activist like me it was but one short step to join Time to Change as a Champion. I'd been working at the cutting edge of the survivor movement since 2001, first as editor of a north-eastern mental health hospital's wellbeing magazine and then as chairman of an anti-stigma campaign in Sunderland.

Village blog from a purple haired-newbie

AJ blogs for Time to ChangeSo, I’m sat on the sofa on a Sunday morning, bleary eyed and (Time to Change) mug of hot chocolate in hand, digesting what happened the day before. Yesterday I came out to the public as 1 in 4. I didn’t know what to expect, or how I would react... never mind the reaction of those I told my story to! But let me tell you this, I was not expecting the result I got from being part of the Time To Change Village on Southbank.

It's time to inspire

Blogger NikkiI was recently given the privilege of speaking at the Time to Change Launch Event in London’s Whitehall, and I know I am not the only person who left that event feeling uplifted, positive, and frankly, all warm and fuzzy inside. It was attended by so many people, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Paul Burstow, representatives from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, and celebrities including Trisha Goddard, Alastair Campbell, Fiona Phillips.

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