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Time To Talk: Coming Soon

Time To Talk: Coming Soon

Thursday, 30 January

A recent study from the University of Bristol, explored the links between debt,ageing and mental wellbeing. It concluded that within the UK's older populationin particular, those finding it "very difficult to get byfinancially" were eight times more likely to report reduced mentalwellbeing compared with those who were comfortably off. The report's authorscalled the results "staggering" because it clearly demonstrated howthe precursors to mental health deterioration are often hidden.

Not everyone turns up at an A&E in crisis, and not everyone withmoderately poor mental health is directly in touch with services of any kind.This matters because everywhere around us there are people struggling withfinancial and other stresses. The older population are also, on average, muchmore likely to feel lonelyand isolated – both triggers for poor mental wellbeing.

The latest initiative from the anti-stigma campaign Time To Change is Time to Talk Day,which takes place on Thursday. It pinpoints how so much of the anguish thatpeople are trying to deal with is behind closed doors, with many people afraidor embarrassed to ask for help.

Many of those living with mental health difficulties, be it for the firsttime in response to something such as debt or because of longstandingconditions, say that feeling free to talk can make an enormous difference dayto day. They say, too, that if others reach out and pay attention through eventhe smallest of gestures, it can ease the burden. We may not all be able todirectly influence how crisis or other care is provided, but that doesn't meanwe can't do something.

As one person involved in the Time to Talk Day puts it: "If you knowsomeone who is struggling, a kind word or a hug can go a long way."

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