It’s time to talk about mental health

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Today is the first ever Time to Talk Day. Organised by the brilliant Time to Change, the largest programme in England tackling the stigma and discrimination often associated with mental health, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Time to Talk aims to start conversations around mental health, raise awareness and share the message that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is talking about it.

For inspiration on how you can get involved – have a look at the Time to Talk events page that lists everything going on in your area. There’s loads happening online too, keep up to date via Twitter and #TimetoTalk for all the latest information. If you head over to the Rethink Mental Illness Facebook page at 2.00pm-3.00pm today, you could also have a live web chat with the very inspiring Jonny Benjamin, who recently made the headlines with his #FindMike campaign, where Jonny got to say thanks to the man that saved his life.

Every small conversation helps…

Would you know what to do in an emergency?

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If someone suddenly became ill and went into cardiac arrest, would you know what to do next? For many of us, the answer is no. Around 60,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year in the UK. The sad reality is, less than 10% go onto survive. Yet, if a bystander is able to start CPR, this can double a person’s chances of survival.

Lifesaver is the fantastic, free resource from The Resuscitation Council that could help to save many, many lives. It acts as a crisis simulator, using live action and real-life scenarios that rely on your interactive moves and quick action to show what to do in an emergency and how to use CPR.

You really do learn as you go. If you do it wrong, you will be shown what you need to do instead. You also use your keypad to start CPR and it tells you if you need to go faster or slower. Do it right and you can make a real difference to your online victim’s life. It’s very clever stuff and is quite a thrilling experience too.

It’s available for computers and as an iPad app, iPhone app, Android tablet app and Android phone app.

Did I mention it’s free? Please download and learn – you never know when you might need this knowledge.

Let’s talk body image – Body Gossip campaign

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In today’s post I wanted to highlight the fantastic campaign Body Gossip which hopes to raise awareness of the body image issues affecting today’s society and promote the message of self-acceptance.

One of the celebrities getting behind the campaign is Big Brother starlet and model Nikki Grahame whose lifelong battle with anorexia was the subject of her excellent book Dying To Be Thin, which Nikki wrote to help raise awareness of anorexia and to give hope to sufferers of the illness that leading a happy and healthy life is possible.

The campaign provides a platform for the public and celebrities to unite and speak out about the body issues affecting us, and hopes to discourage finger-pointing, as eating disorders can happen to anybody at anytime. The site contains some thought-provoking videos, expert advice, your views on body image and real-life stories including 31-year-old Amy’s story.

Delve in and join the debate…