MENTAL health problems remain an issue that many find uncomfortable but a new campaign aims to encourage more people to break down barriers about the illness.
The Time to Talk campaign launches in St Helens next week with the aim of getting more people to open up.
According to the latest North West Mental Health Wellbeing figures for 2012/2013 which was published last November, 21.9 per cent of people in St Helens were said to have experienced mental health issues.
This equates to approximately 38,566 people in the town who reported poor levels of mental health.
Problems can range from anxiety disorders to depression and at least one in four people will experience mental health issues every year.
Mental wellbeing is defined as simply as feeling good and functioning well.
The campaign backed by the Health Improvement Team St Helens will run between Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17.
They will be in Church Square offering information and tips on how to speak to friends and relatives about any issues.
Liz Gaulton, director of public health at St Helens Council, said: “From time to time many people will have problems in their life that may impact on their mental wellbeing and mental health. Being able to talk to someone and discuss issues can often help.
“We all know what it feels like to feel stressed or anxious, so making time to listen and talk is an important part of good health and helps to challenge the stigma associated with mental health problems.
“The campaign 'Time to Talk' will highlight the importance of mental health and how small actions can help to address problems.”
People are encouraged to ‘make a pledge’ at the event and do something small but meaningful for a friend, whether it’s a walk, a phone call, text or a chat.
You can download further information via time-to-change.org.uk.
Further details about mental health and wellbeing and self-care can be found on the Live Life Well website which has been developed by the Health Improvement Team at live-life-well.net.