We are so pleased to have over 200 East Essex Time to Change Champions campaigning to stop the discrimination and stigma that those with mental health problems experience.
Now you may be wondering what it means to be a Time to Change Champion. Champions are not volunteers as such and are encouraged to campaign on their own or with others, unsupervised in their own locality. Every Champion campaigns differently to help those around them open up to mental health. There is no minimum time commitment. Each Champion speaks out and campaigns when it suits them.
The following Champion quote sums it up nicely: –
“We are Champions 24/7, not to say we are constantly campaigning but we just live it, we don’t show up for set hours and tasks like you would do for a traditional volunteering role, it’s just part of who we are.“
Throughout the year we have been campaigning in person and virtually. We are excited to hold a Champion led virtual festival on World Mental Health day which will see activities held all day live via zoom and our social media pages, from African drumming to an interview with a Champion. We also have a group of Champions climbing Mount Snowdon sharing their own personal story. Another Champion from the Ideas Hub in Chelmsford will be holding two visual art exhibitions with artists exhibiting portraits of loved ones they have lost, with a note about how feelings of loss impact on Mental Health and another exhibition by BME artists which includes a talk by Lawrence Walker (Essex Black History month organiser) about Mental Health and BME community.
Sharing experiences of mental health problems can help change the attitudes and behaviours of others, reducing stigma and discrimination. When people talk to each other and establish common ground, prejudices and assumptions can be challenged and replaced with mutual understanding and respect.
If you are interest in any of the above or simply want to find out more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow our social media pages:-
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Time to Change Hub Coordinator