Time to Change Village at Wrotham

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Time to Change Village at Wrotham

Young Healthy Minds was invited to a Time to Change Village event at Wrotham School on 24th June 2014.

Time to Change is an anti-stigma campaign run by the leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Find out more at www.time-to-change.org.uk/

Time to Change aims to start a conversation… or hopefully thousands of conversations to empower people with mental health problems to feel confident talking about the issue without facing discrimination.

To date Time to Change has delivered a wide range of projects, engaging people in all sectors and communities, encouraging them to start a dialogue which might lead to a change in behaviour.

They include:

  • A national high-profile marketing and media campaign, aimed at reaching 29 million adults to change their attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems
  • Community activity and events that bring people with and without mental health problems together
  • Work with children and young people, to change their attitudes and behaviour towards mental health
  • A £2.7m grants scheme to fund grassroots projects, led by people with mental health problems, that will engage communities in meaningful conversations about mental health
  • A programme to support a network of people with experience of mental health problems to take leadership roles in challenging discrimination, within their own communities and as part of Time to Change
  • Strategic work with organisations from all sectors to improve policy and practice around mental health discrimination
  • A programme of media engagement to improve media reporting and representations of mental health issues
  • Focused work with Black and Minority Ethnic communities, starting with African and Caribbean audiences

The Time to Change Village is just like any other village or community, where you might find amenities such as a post office, a shop, tea room, cinema, village green or surgery. However, in the Time to Change Village these are housed in pop-up marquees which all can be used as tools to get people talking about mental health.

The Time to Change Village is run by the Villagers, a team of volunteers who engage the public and have conversations about what it’s really like to live with a mental health problem. In doing so, they challenge prejudices about mental health and help to break down stigma in their local community.

The Time to Change Village event at Wrotham School brought together a number of local agencies including Young Healthy Minds, KCA, Young Carers and school nursing who provided a range of activities to stimulate discussion on mental health. Young Healthy Minds invited pupils to respond to two questions – What worries young people? & What can help? on a graffiti wall. Some very innovative and compelling thoughts and ideas were generated through this exercise.

The Time to Change Villagers ask participants at Village events take part in a creative activity as a way to promote emotional health and well being. Wrotham responded to the challenge by providing a range of musical performances throughout the day. Some performances were from individuals who, no doubt, felt a huge sense of achievement and raised self esteem when the audience showed their appreciation and some were collective pieces where the pupils demonstrated the emotional benefits of working together and being mutually supportive in order to produce a beautiful musical result.