Today is Time to Talk Day.
Norman Lamb was probably the best Minister we had in the Coalition years. He did so much to try to change the culture of the NHS on mental health. And what I particularly liked was that there was no bullshit from him. If something wasn’t good enough, he owned it and tried to do something about it.
Today, for Time to Talk Day, he urged people to talk to each other about mental health.
On #TimeToTalkDay it’s so important we encourage everyone to talk openly about their mental health and be willing to have conversations with friends and loved ones we are concerned about. Only then will we end the stigma attached to mental ill health. pic.twitter.com/tJHWWsESUz
— Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) February 7, 2019
I just wish that we had had a minister for mental health in Scotland who actually got it.
The reason Norman got it is because mental ill health has affected family members. His sister died by suicide in 2015 and his son Archie has OCD.
I’ll not forget the Liverpool Conference in 2015 when an incredibly moving interview with Norman and Archie was published on the Sunday morning. Norman spoke to the BBC soon afterwards.
Norman was greeted with huge applause and affection that morning at Conference and quite rightly so.
Every day, millions of people struggle with mental ill health. I know what it’s like to go through spells of depression and anxiety. If I’m honest, my mental health is not at its best at the moment. I am fairly certain that my anxiety is at least in part Brexit related although it’s always a constant presence in the Winter months. My mood is lower than it has been in a while and I’m struggling to do all the things that I know I need to do to keep healthy.
The one thing I have learned over decades of this is that the current intensity will pass. Even if I think it won’t. At some point, things will get better. Every day, millions of people have to deal with these things, and if we open up to each other about it, normalise it, it does get easier.
And if someone close to you does open up about their mental health, acknowledge how they are feeling, listen to them, and be there for them. It is so important.
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings