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It's 'Time to Talk'

Posted on 4 February, 2020

Can you see me? Really see me? I'm trapped inside wanting to scream “help me!” but yet too afraid to talk. So I smile, put my head down and plod along with the crowd or become the joker hiding the pain inside.

‘It's time to talk’ seems so easy, you just make time to talk, right? But it’s not so straight-forward.

With such busy lives and the pressures of work, family and life we sometimes simply forget to really talk and make time for genuine meaningful conversations.

Mental health problems affect one in four of us, and sadly far too many people are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless because of this. Even now in 2020, there is still stigma attached to mental ill health and, as a result, some people feel unable to open up and talk to others about problems with their mental health.

It’s important to recognise that we all have mental health, in the same way that we all have physical health. Sometimes we are in good shape (physically and/or mentally) while other times we have issues that affect our overall health. It’s time to balance things; we should all start viewing our mental health as importantly as our physical health.

A BBC News article in 2017 reported an increase of 22% in the last five years of NHS staff having to take time off work due to their mental health. Now, more than two years later, things are no better.

Here are some shocking facts according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS):

  • 602,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or longstanding) in 2018/19
  • 12.8 million working days lost as a result 

When you next sit with colleagues or friends, one in four of you could have a mental illness. If a person broke their arm you would see the cast and know something is wrong, but with mental illness there is no cast, no visual clue. On the outside they may appear fine but inside they are struggling. This isn’t always obvious and people often feel the need to hide it. So take the time to talk and listen, this might be the first step that someone needs. Let's make a difference, break down the barriers around mental illness and start the conservation, build relationships that support mental wellbeing and mental illness.

Time to Talk encourages everyone to be more open about mental health, to talk, to listen, to change lives. Time to Talk Day is on 6th February, and this year’s annual awareness day is run by Time for change and supported by Prince Harry. It’s aimed at getting the nation to talk about mental health. If you need some inspiration or ideas for starting that conversation, then Time to Change have some great resources.

Remember you are not there to judge or diagnose, just make time to talk.

At Connect2Care and HIT Training we fully support this initiative. As a qualified First Aid Mental Health Instructor, I believe it’s essential to open the conversation and support employers and employees in mental health first aid. This is fundamental to both the individual and the organisation, considering how many working days are lost due to mental ill health within the UK. Time to Talk is a great way to start changing perceptions and support the nation’s mental health.

If you would like further information, please get in touch by clicking here.

By Lindsey Appleby-Flynn, Connect2Care Adult Health and Social Care Lead


McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey


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