To mark "Time to Talk Day" on 2 February, Michael is encouraging people to join a campaign to get more people talking openly about mental health issues. Started in 2014, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the fact that many people struggle along with mental health as a result of being too afraid to talk about it.
He has raised the issue a number of times, including with the Health Secretary, urging him to act after figures released in November showed just 33 per cent of trainee GPs in Barnsley East had a training placement in 2015 that gave them mental health experience.
Commenting, Michael said:
“One in four people will experience a mental health problem, but many are afraid to talk about it.
“Talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be as simple as making time to have a cup of tea or go for a walk and listening to someone talk about how they feel.
“Mental health is a topic that we should all feel able to talk about. Having these important conversations can make a big difference to many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can change.”
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “Mental health problems are common and can affect any one of us, yet too often people are afraid to talk openly about mental health for fear of being judged.
“Time to Talk Day is a chance for everyone to open up about mental health - to talk, to listen, to change lives. We want to get the nation talking round the clock, whatever the time, whatever the place and wherever you are. It’s easy to take part and make a change.”