As part of the Heads Together campaign, Prince Harry today visited the London Ambulance Service to help kick off this year’s Time to Talk Day, organised by Time to Change to get the nation talking about mental health.
During the visit Prince Harry talked to London Ambulance Service staff who have experienced problems with their mental health and the colleagues that have given them support. His Royal Highness also talked with two paramedics from the NorthWest Ambulance Service, Dan and Rich, who feature in a film released today by Heads Together to support Time to Talk Day.
Heads Together wants to show conversations between people that have experienced pressure to their mental health and the person they turned to for support. The film is the first in a series that aims to share these conversations to encourage others who may be struggling with their mental health to talk with a friend, family member or colleague.
Following a job involving a deeply upsetting child abuse case, Dan found himself having nightmares, unable to shake the image from his head. Dan knew he wasn’t ‘right’ and called on Rich to help him talk things through. Their conversation gave Dan the push to get help with his PTSD.
Heads Together, which The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading with eight Charity Partners and three Founding Partners, wants to change the conversation on mental health and end stigma.
The theme of this year’s Time to Talk Day is ‘conversations change lives’ and throughout the day people are being encouraged to have conversations and log them at http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday-log-your-conversation. More than a thousand organisations, 600 secondary schools, as well as universities, councils, workplaces, sports clubs and community groups are organising activities or events where everyone can take time out and talk about mental health.
The London Ambulance Service is one of many workplaces around the UK committed to promoting mental wellbeing of the workforce and who run a Time to Talk Day event. During his visit Prince Harry heard from 999 control room staff and ambulance crews about the importance of being able to talk to colleagues about how they’re feeling and what challenges they may be dealing with.
This included Alexandra Turp, who works as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and found it difficult to cope after dealing with distressing call last year. She explains: “After the call was over, I walked away not knowing if I’d done the right thing and it really affected me. I couldn’t sleep, I kept bursting into tears and my confidence was knocked.
“Eventually, after speaking to friends, I realised I wasn’t feeling any better and managed to speak to Katie, one of the Service’s LINC workers on my team. We had just one conversation but I came away from it a different person. I felt like I could breathe again. It made me realise how important it is to have a support system at work and we really are a little 999 family. I don’t think Katie realises the difference she made that day. It was just one conversation – but it was all I needed.”
Prince Harry then joined in the London Ambulance Service’s own Time to Talk Day event where he met with staff volunteering for the service’s LINC (Listening, Informal, Non-judgemental, Confidential) network, a voluntary network of staff who can listen and support their peers. Other activities taking place organised by the London Ambulance Service and Time to Change on provided staff members with advice on how to start conversations and look after their mental wellbeing.
Sue Baker, Director at Time to Change explains:
“Mental health problems are common and can affect any one of us, yet too often people are afraid to talk openly about mental health for fear of being judged. Time to Talk Day is a chance for everyone to open up about mental health - to talk, to listen, to change lives. We want to get the nation talking round the clock, whatever the time, whatever the place, wherever you are - it’s easy to take part and make a change.
“We’re thrilled to have Prince Harry with us today. His support will help us reach our widest audience yet and encourage everyone to get involved and become part of our movement to change how we all think and act about mental health.”
Anyone wanting to support Time to Talk Day should visit http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday
Content from the visit:
Images of today’s event are available at: https://we.tl/5MOrOlvLZs.
The Heads Together film featuring Dan and Rich can be download or embedded via https://vimeo.com/202063388/b610ff0d4d
A broadcast quality version of the Heads Together film can be downloaded at https://services.farmgroup.tv/Fred/#/login/security (Username: Heads together Broadcast Quality, Password: Flowers2017)
About Time To Change
Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems. The campaign is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Time to Change organises Time to Talk Day, now in its fourth year, to encourage people to be more open about mental health and ready to listen.
For more information please go to http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday.
About Heads Together
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that fear no longer prevents people talking or getting the help they need.
Heads Together brings together a team of Charity Partners that have achieved great progress in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems. The team covers a wide range of mental health issues that are close to The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry's passions. They are:
- Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
- Best Beginnings
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
- Contact (a military mental health coalition)
- The Mix
The privilege of being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year gives Heads Together a positive platform to raise funds for the support provided by the campaign’s charity partners and to start millions of conversations.
The Heads Together campaign is being generously supported by The Hans & Julia Rausing Trust, ShareGift and the first three Heads Together Founding Partners - Dixons Carphone, Unilever UK and Virgin Money. This support will help amplify the aims of the campaign as well as fund specific projects designed to help us all with mental health.