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Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats

Taking the 'Time to Change' pledge

February 19, 2020 6:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The first time you go canvassing can feel daunting. For many people, going up to a stranger's door, knocking, and starting a conversation isn't something they do every day. They don't often ask people about how they want things to change, in their neighbourhood or across the country as a whole.

More than 1 in 4 of us will experience depression, anxiety or stress this year. Almost every family will be affected.

But with practice and repetition, what may have initially seemed like an odd thing to do begins to feel natural. And even fun. It turns out that many people like being asked about their opinions, especially by someone who clearly cares, is open to listening and taking them seriously.

As a political party, we help people take the plunge into canvassing with a range of support. We often send you out with a more experienced volunteer, give you a 'script' of questions to ask, and for your first time will probably send you to a street that's supportive and friendly.

We need to do the same with conversations about mental health. More than 1 in 4 of us will experience depression, anxiety or stress this year. Almost every family will be affected. And we know that talking helps.

We want to make it easier for everyone involved with the Liberal Democrats to talk about mental health, and feel ok about doing so.

But for too many of us, it's hard to know how to have that conversation. It feels different to talking about other kinds of being unwell. We worry that it will be awkward or unwelcome. And we don't want to make things worse, even if we suspect someone is struggling.

Research shows that asking and having conversations about mental health - openly in the workplace and elsewhere - makes a big difference. That's why we're backing the 'Time to Change' pledge along with many other like-minded organisations. We want to make it easier for everyone involved with the Liberal Democrats to talk about mental health, and feel ok about doing so.

Over the next year we'll be championing good mental health in what we do. Some of that will be in our campaigning work, some will be in offering better mental health services in local government, and some will be in our work as an employer, and some in how we support volunteers.

Find out more by visiting the Time to Change website.