Time to Talk Day took place on the 4th February 2021 and was an opportunity for us at PiP to open up the conversation around mental health and how the power of small can make a huge difference for both staff and students. Time to Talk is organised by Time to Change and is a campaign to change the way people think and act about mental health problems.
During the event, we reflected on the challenges we’ve all faced during the coronavirus pandemic and what hidden gems have helped to bring joy and support to us during this time.
At PiP, we understand the value of having time to talk. Many of our sessions already focus on health and wellbeing. We have a weekly Social Wellbeing group, as well as weekly Women’s and Men’s groups which gives students the opportunity to discuss emotional and mental wellbeing in a supportive peer group.
Our Time to Talk event started by reflecting on the challenges of 2020. What has been hard for both staff and students is the uncertainty. We can’t predict when lockdown will end, or when we can go back to face to face services. Student Rep Shardonnay shared that she misses the energy that she gets from the other students “I miss seeing the other students. They are a crazy bunch but I like them!” Pam misses working towards the annual Drama performance. She most misses “helping out and welcoming people”. Lydia misses her closest friends and had some great ideas for keeping in touch and reaching out to her friends to support them and herself.
We all agreed that appreciating the small can help us get through – whether that be NOT bingeing our favourite TV programmes but spreading them out over the week, rediscovering our local park, or using this time to learn new things. One thing is for sure, looking after our mental health at this time is something that is important for both staff and students. Thanks so much to PiP students Pam, Lydia and Shardonnay, and PiP staff Naomi, Karina, Claire, Cheski and Sam for sharing their thoughts and feelings.