It’s OK To Say - how campaign is going from strength to strength

Separation anxiety expert Stacey Turner.

Separation anxiety expert Stacey Turner. - Credit: Archant

A month ago the It’s OK To Say campaign was launched on Radio Verulam’s Drivetime show with Danny Smith and in the pages of the Herts Advertiser, coinciding with World Mental Health Day.

Within a matter of days people were already calling the paper and reaching out to me via email to offer support and this has continued in the weeks since.

The wonderful thing about this, it proves my theory that people do want to talk and will talk, people do want to know that they are not alone, what help is available and be able to access it, therefore if we provide a comfortable space to allow this, the impact is profound.

This campaign rejects the stigma, you know this thick fog I’ve mentioned previously, it’s like a bully and since bullies only respond to strength, It’s OK To Say intends to pack a powerful punch.

A space that is not only user-friendly, yet engaging, providing people and organisations with another voice working in mental health, such as the St Albans-based Counselling Foundation. Much work goes on behind the scenes where various organisations work together hand in hand, but this is often unknown to the public and therefore this work frequently goes unrecognised. This information needs highlighting in a managed space where this wonderful work is known and where information can be expanded on to benefit the public.

The impact has been so much more than I could have anticipated in such a short time. I am loving watching the circle of people, organisations and support grow. This has included backing and support from key people locally and nationally, which you will discover as the campaign progresses. It is really exciting and what’s ahead is blooming beautifully.

I am so grateful for the positive response of contributors keen to highlight the campaign’s messages and to the organisations involved already. This extends to the public and it all proves yet again if we put the information out there and keep the messages going, people will know It’s OK To Say and that this is the reason statistics of people accessing help are going up.

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I am yet to meet someone who isn’t going through something, if we encourage people to put things in place to support mental health on an everyday basis and highlight what’s available in a crisis situation then we normalise health holistically.

For some, it can take some practice, a bit like exercise. Exercise strengthens muscle fibres and promotes new muscle fibre growth. If we look after and exercise our mind, supporting the journey, our mind grows stronger and promotes new growth, self-belief and the ability to respond in a more controlled way.

Throughout this campaign, I want to not only make the services available known, I want to educate on various therapies, such as non-verbal.

Little ones (and adults) are aware they feel something or mixed emotions and if it’s a child, often they’re unable to articulate it. With adults, sometimes you just don’t want to talk, but you know you need something.

There are many powerful ways of obtaining help, it doesn’t have to be in a clinical setting. I personally prefer a much more relaxed environment allowing for a more creative perspective, recognising what is needed even bringing in other people contributing speciality offering a bespoke approach.

The campaign is like a big giant positive hug providing you with the reassurance you need. You won’t always feel like this, you don’t have to live like this. There is so much hope and that’s what this campaign is about. Shining the light so you can point it where you need it to feel less afraid, upset or doubtful.

Stacey X