It’s OK To Say charity founder: ‘World mental health should be a campaign lasting throughout the year’

Stacey Turner of It's OK To Say is training to take part in a charity Channel swim next year. Picture: Sonny Moxey

Stacey Turner of It's OK To Say is training to take part in a charity Channel swim next year. Picture: Sonny Moxey - Credit: Archant

In the wake of the latest World Mental Health Day, It’s OK To Say mental health awareness charity founder Stacey Turner talks about how they extended the messages of the campaign to mark their second anniversary...

Following months of lockdown and loss, it felt wrong just to focus on one day of the year, especially as it coincided with the second anniversary of It’s OK To Say being launched.

We are always sharing our vital messages and with the knowledge that 24 hours is never enough, we stretched the themes of World Mental Health Day into an ongoing campaign.

From an inspiring message from our trustee GP Dr Phillippa Smith, a Wellness Wednesday reminder to shout for help, through to a prompt to never allow things to control you because you have a choice, there were loads of different things we were involved in.

I recently started training for my Channel swim on behalf of the Children’s Air Ambulance. I am aware I have been shallow breathing for some time now.

As I am re-learning how to breathe in water, I am reminded breathing is the most natural and important thing. It allows you to bring focus to the moment.

If we stop and breathe with focus, we can then allow our mindset to process and shift with space to percolate things.

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Rou Reynolds, the frontman of Enter Shikari, shared a warming message as part of the campaign: “Kindness is an energising life force, it’s this gift that is beneficial not just to the receiver, but also to the giver.”

It is special how he speaks about the kindness of interpretation of people’s behaviour.

He shared how showing generosity and patience with empathy towards people rather than being quick to judge is a courageous kindness.

Rou also talked about how his most impactful moments of kindness are the really small ones that leave a lasting feeling.

“I’m talking about everything from a smile, a small compliment, showing kindness or patience, you know in some way online or offline. It’s all these little, little drops you know that just fill up the ocean and just make someone’s life more worth living.”

So wherever you are, know that you matter, you have a voice and I encourage you to use it. It is not always going to be like this, so please be inspired to look forwards and plan.