"Tea & Talk is a brilliant stepping stone into breaking down stigma."
I have suffered from anxiety for a number of years, probably as a result of my parent’s deaths in 2006 and 2010. I still deal with it in my day to day life: one day I can be absolutely fine and the next one frozen with fear.
During my recovery I got to meet other mental illness sufferers. I developed a real passion for mental health issues and try to raise as much awareness as I can. Tea & Talk is a brilliant stepping stone into breaking down stigma. It can open up a dialogue and help people to realise that mental illness can affect anyone at any time during their lifetime – and that if it does, they will need all the right support and information provided by organisations like the Mental Health Foundation.
I organised a Tea & Talk at work and we had many gorgeous cake contributions including peanut butter squares and red velvet toffee cupcakes. More importantly though, I was overwhelmed by people’s awareness of mental health issues: once you start a conversation, it’s surprising how many have had experiences of all kinds of mental health issues, personally or through friends and family. People cherish the chance to talk about their experience and can be more understanding than expected. Everybody kept saying what a great cause this was.
This has inspired me to do more Tea & Talks but also to volunteer at events, taking part in a half marathon and sharing my story.
At our Tea & Talk we raised just over £82; but people went away knowing more about mental health, which is just as important.