Tea & Talk: Jane and Mel's story
Melanie and I both have first-hand experience coping with mental illness. We both have parents who have lived with bipolar and schizophrenia for some time and know how debilitating mental illness can be.
We thought that Tea & Talk could be a good way to get people talking about mental health.
So we set about booking a space to hold the event and printed out posters from the website advertising it. We also asked colleagues to bake or donate shop-bought cakes and invited everyone to just pop along to buy a slice and take the weight off their feet.
We were a bit nervous to begin with as we weren’t quite sure if people would turn up, however we didn’t have to worry long as we had a steady stream of visitors. It was a real ice breaker, people would come up and say "it’s about time!" and tell Melanie or I about their very personal experiences and that of their loved ones too – it really did get people talking, which is what we wanted.
To say we were taken aback by the sheer generosity of people is an understatement: we raised over £700! Now we are planning another Tea & Talk in October to coincide with this year’s World Mental Health Day.
This event was important to both of us. In our small way we wanted to help improve the lives of the people experiencing the consequences of mental health problems every day. We also wanted to get everyone talking about it. I hope we succeeded in doing both."
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Follow Jane and Mel’s example and hold your own Tea & Talk, whether that's in the workplace, at home, or somewhere else entirely... it's up to you!