Location: Northern Ireland
A total of 66 per cent of adults in the UK do not feel there is anyone they can open up to about their mental health, according to a new survey.
Research conducted by campaign group Time to Change found that two-thirds of people in the country are left feeling on their own where their mental wellbeing is concerned.
Over one-third (36 per cent) of respondents said they could never find a suitable time to bring up their mental health concerns, while 28 per cent reported struggling to find an appropriate place to talk about their feelings.
Almost one-quarter (22 per cent) of those questioned admitted that they had kept their concerns to themselves for more than a year, simply because they couldn't find the right time to talk to someone close to them.
The research was released to coincide with last week's national Time to Talk Day, which is designed to encourage people to open up about their mental health to their loved ones or whoever they feel most comfortable with in order to break down the stigma surrounding the topic, and allow them to begin accessing support for their needs.
Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt commented: "Too many people still feel unable to talk about their mental health.
"Time to Talk Day is an important reminder of the power of conversation and how, by taking small steps to help others, we can all make our own contribution to a better and more mentally resilient society."
The campaigners behind the day advise that it can be best to start small when it comes to opening up and that it can be easier to talk while something else is happening, rather than the person who is struggling feeling like all of the attention is focused on them, which could make feelings of anxiety worse.
Time to Talk also recommends that questions are kept gentle and not too probing or personal, as that could make people unwilling to open up quite as much.
Written by Angela Newbury
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