Time to Talk Day: Let's ‘Chat About’ mental health

Hampshire County Council is taking the opportunity of Time to Talk Day (1 February 2024) to remind residents about its Chat About scheme in libraries, which aims to help people connect with others to alleviate loneliness and improve wellbeing

Jan 30 2024

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "Talking about how you feel can ease stress and loneliness, but it’s not always easy taking that first step. Joining one of our Chat About sessions at a local library can help by simply providing a way to meet and connect with other people or by providing support during a tough time."  

The County Council’s Chat About scheme currently operates out of 23 libraries, providing welcoming, inclusive spaces where people can gather to connect and talk. Specially trained staff are on-hand to help introduce people into a group or to have a one-to-one conversation, and they are also able to signpost to places that can provide extra support should you need.

For local information about Chat About sessions - including dates and times - visit the Hampshire Libraries events listing page.

Any group or organisation, such as cafés, community and voluntary venues, regular coffee morning gatherings and workplace canteens can join the Chat About scheme to encourage conversation and support their local community. Further information on how to do this can be found at the dedicated website at www.hants.gov.uk/chatabout 

Research shows that there are five key elements to maintaining and improving our mental wellbeing, with social connection being one of them. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are widely recognised as effective safeguards against mental health issues, supporting people to age healthily and live independently for longer.  

For a wealth of other local mental wellbeing support - from help for young people and bereavement services to money and debt information - visit Mental Wellbeing Hampshire.