Time to Talk Day is a nationwide campaign where on the 2nd of February, the ‘nation’s biggest mental health conversation’ took place.
In Ulster University Coleraine, Employee Wellbeing opened a space on the Bridge for staff to walk in and have a conversation.
“One of the big things about it is that it’s a national day so it’s all across the UK…” says David Duly, Campus Wellbeing Adviser. “What was good was that other organisations are already doing it so that’s when we heard about it.”
Claire Dixon, Employee Wellbeing Adviser added, “We have some tea, coffee so we’ve definitely had some people drop in…it’s just to let our employees know the [mental health] policies that we support and that we can give guidance and advice to all our colleagues and employees in the university.”
She added that “We can signpost them to the likes of occupational health and different organisations for the support they need.”
Employee Wellbeing have partnered up with Inspire, who were also there on Time to Talk Day. One of their staff, Michelle stated “It’s basically encouraging people to take a little bit of time in their day just to have a conversation.” On concerns about staff being reluctant to speak out, she said, “[staff] can make use of the Inspire Support Hub…they’ve also got access to a range of services with Inspire through the university…I would encourage anyone to just stop and have a chat and you will always feel better after a couple of sessions.”
Commenting on how the day went, David concluded, “We had about a dozen people come in and stop for a chat…we heard many talk about the pressures of their roles, and also balancing the other day to day responsibilities they have.” He added, “[The day] was a good opportunity for us to inform others about the wellbeing team and Inspire…we hope that we can use the space again to run other such days.”