Today Nottingham has been named a Time to Change hub, set up to change how we all think and act about mental health locally.

Time to Change hubs are networks of local organisations and individuals committed to ending negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems in their communities.

Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless. But with the right support from those around them, people can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Encouraging people to open up to mental health – to talk and to listen – is the first step.

Time to Change hubs have been created to combine the insights from the national campaign with local knowledge to support communities, workplaces and schools to take action to improve the way everyone thinks and acts about mental health problems in their area.

Time to Change, the national campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, launched its first regional hubs in March 2017. The announcement of four further hubs (Waltham Forest, Nottingham, Bristol, and Worcestershire) is part of the campaign’s three year plan to establish a network of hubs across England to provide a focus for local campaigning work.

Time to Change Nottingham will be led by the local Health and Wellbeing Board. Partners include Nottingham City Council, Self Help UK, Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham Recovery College, Notts FC Football in the Community, Mojatu Foundation, Nottingham Jobs Hub, Nottingham FE College, Nottingham Forest Community Trust and Framework.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “This announcement is fantastic news for Nottingham. There is already so much great work going on in the city to reduce mental health discrimination and stigma, and we are looking forward to harnessing Time to Change’s expertise and resources to bring all of our activities together and have even more impact.”

Sarah Collis, CEO at Self Help UK, said: “We are delighted that Nottingham has been chosen to deliver a Time to Change Hub. Our passion is bringing people with shared experiences together, and we are excited to have an opportunity in Nottingham to build a strong champion base to tackle discrimination and stigma. We look forward to working with partners to make Nottingham a place where people feel free to discuss their mental health and support each other”.

In order to be named a Time to Change hub, local partnerships had to demonstrate their commitment to:

  • Embedding anti-stigma and discrimination work in their own organisations
  • Campaigning for change in their communities
  • Putting people with personal experience of mental health problems at the heart of their work.

Since their initial launch, Time to Change regional hubs have successfully campaigned to end mental health stigma and discrimination. Their work has ranged from closing down a stigmatising game ‘experience’ where participants are challenged to escape from a scary ‘asylum’ to supporting Time to Talk Day (1 February 2018) and running events to delivering PR campaigns aimed at improving understanding and respect for people living with a mental health problem.

Jo Loughran, Operations Director at Time to Change, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with organisations and individuals in Nottingham to create a sustainable campaign for change, tailored to the needs and priorities of the local community.

“In the past our work locally has been driven by the passion and commitment of individual champions. By having hubs in place we’re making sure the wider community is more involved and that there is strong local leadership and expertise in place to provide support.”