Updated: Wednesday, 20th November 2019 @ 11:34am

It's 'time to talk' about mental health: Manchester's Ricky Hatton and The Saturday's Frankie front campaign

It's 'time to talk' about mental health: Manchester's Ricky Hatton and The Saturday's Frankie front campaign

By Daisy Yates

Manchester boxer Ricky Hatton and The Saturdays’ Frankie Sandford is fronting a new campaign to change people’s perceptions of mental health.

Celebrities including This Morning’s Matt Johnson, funny-man Russell Kane and Suki Waterhouse are backing the programme’s new initiative Time to Talk.

The stars have been seen wearing heart-shaped fake tattoos which were designed by contemporary British artist Stuart Semple as a symbol of their support.

Mum-to-be Frankie Sandford said: “I hope by supporting Time to Change I can raise awareness about the importance of starting a conversation.

“If you know someone experiencing a mental health problem, you could ask them how they are, or send them a quick text to let them know you’re there – it can make a huge difference and remind them that they’re not alone.”

Frankie and Matt have both spoken out about their own experiences with depression in an effort to combat discrimination and stigma around mental health problems.

Frankie added: “Mental health is still such an awkward subject, yet if someone was going through another physical illness we wouldn’t hesitate to ask them how they’re doing.

“When I experienced depression, I had the support of friends and family which really helped – being able to talk about it is really important.”

A survey commissioned by Time to Change showed that almost half of 25-35 year olds said that people in the public eye, like Frankie, have made them more aware of the stigma that surrounds mental health problems.

The research also showed 39% of people said hearing about a celebrity sharing their experiences has made them think more positively about mental health.

Time to Change Director, Sue Baker said: “Mental health problems can happen to anyone, famous or not, and we all need the support of those around us when it happens.

“But as this research shows, celebrities like Frankie and Matt speaking out can help the public to think differently about mental health.

“Hearing from someone in the public eye can help others to feel able to say ‘I’ve gone through that too.’”

Time to Change’s research revealed that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year and one in ten young people will experience a mental health problem.

Despite this, a shocking nine out of ten people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination, something the Time to Talk campaign is determined to change.

Frankie said: “We all have mental health, so it’s something we should definitely learn to be more open about.”

To find out more information or start your conversation, go to time-to-change.org.uk or tweet #Timetotalk

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