TALKING about mental health still feels like a taboo for many people both in their personal lives and in the workplace – but to mark Time to Talk Day, we want our readers to join in the conversation in a bid to help others feel less alone.

Mental health problems affect one in four of us in the UK, and in St Helens it is an even greater issue with the borough having the highest suicide rate in England and Wales in 2017 - with figures showing that most of those suffering in silence in St Helens are men.

Time to Talk Day has launched a way to start the conversation on mental health by asking for people to take selfies while holding a piece of paper with a word on it which they feel sums up what they think people need to feel safe to talk.

This could be anything from 'reassurance', 'no judgement', or even 'understanding'.

If you feel like you would like to take part, please be part of the conversation and send your selfie in the box below and help others realise that it is Time to Talk.

You can also share them in the Facebook comments using the hashtag #timetotalk.

Not speaking about mental health is a huge issue in St Helens, back in June, the Star reported how one man from Sutton had suicidal thoughts but sought help and started a conversation with Samaritans.

Christopher Nevitt, 27, said: "When I first became aware that I was suffering with mental health I felt very much alone.

“I felt I wasn’t able to speak to my closest friends and or my family. I didn’t know who I was anymore, and I was living in a bubble that I only understood.

“I would often find myself thinking about suicide just to end what I thought was my lonely sad life, when in fact this was very much the opposite.”

Christopher’s first breakthrough came when he called the Samaritans.

“At a dark point I came home from work and I was sat in the bedroom in complete darkness,” he said.

“I searched suicide on my phone and the number for Samaritans came up.

“I sat there contemplating whether to phone them or not. I did, I spoke about everything that was on my mind.

“I ended the call feeling refreshed and a sense of satisfaction that someone had taken the time to listen.

“From that point I realised I needed some help.”

After several visits to his GP, Christopher was able to make a full recovery through counselling, although he opted to go private due to a six-week waiting time on the NHS.

If you feel able to share your story please get in touch in the comments below. Your story could help others.

You can also share your story with Samaritans by emailing, visiting and find other professionals to talk to via various helplines via

For more on Time to Talk Day go to

Remember it's #oknottobeok.

Share your #TimetoTalk selfie

Please include your name and your story if you feel able to. #itsoknottobeok

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