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Time to change Surrey

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You can find details of our community helpline and other ways to get support on our I need help page, and there's also help and support if you are self isolating.

What does mental ill health mean?

Mental ill health can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere. One in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives; in the workplace, it's one in six and within higher education it's one in five. One in 10 children live with mental distress and 50% of all mental illnesses are established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 25.

As you have physical ill health, so you can have mental ill health. There are many diagnoses in mental health, for example, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, psychosis and post-natal depression. Each illness, as with physical illness, has its own symptoms and each person might experience the illness differently. For more information about different mental health problems, self help strategies and local support services can be found on Healthy Surrey.


Nine out of 10 people who live with mental ill health report experiencing stigma. People who experience mental health problems often say that the stigma and discrimination they experience as a result can be a bigger burden than the actual symptoms of the mental health problem. The impact of stigma and discrimination affects many aspects of peoples' lives, for example:

  • isolation – friendships can be lost,
  • exclusion from everyday activities,
  • harder to get or keep a job,
  • reluctance to seek help,
  • physical health can be affected,
  • financial penalties (e.g. difficulties obtaining certain insurance/higher premiums).

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How could you help to stamp out stigma?

Everyone can make mental health matter and help reduce stigma and discrimination; in our day to day lives, at work, in the class room, with friends, family and social groups. Why not think about the different ways you could do something to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health, whether in your workplace, college, or community. You can find ideas and resources on the Time to Change website.

You can also get involved in the local Surrey campaign by contacting Megan Aspel at for more information.

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Our Time to Change Surrey campaign

Time to Change Surrey is a campaign and programme to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health. Time to Change Surrey reaches out to businesses, colleges and communities, to people from different backgrounds, cultures, faith, across age, sex and gender, and sexuality.

Over the years, Time to Change Surrey has reached thousands of people and provided information and expertise to raise awareness of emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Some of the ways they do this are:

  • Workshops, presentations and conversations about mental health with members of the public, from the team of Mental Health Champions, all people who live directly or indirectly (e.g. carers) with mental ill health.
  • Live dramas created and performed by professional actors from Acting Out Productions.
  • Drama based training sessions that include practical guidelines on spotting symptoms of mental ill health, helping someone and signposting to appropriate organisations and resources.

An evaluation report (PDF) from Time to Change Surrey shows the success they have had in increasing awareness, encouraging more positive attitudes around mental health and reducing stigma.

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Time to Change Surrey Hub Partnership

Newly formed, the Time to Change Surrey Hub Partnership is a group of organisations from statutory, voluntary and private sectors and individuals who are passionate about mental health and reducing stigma. The hub has close links with and receives support from the national Time to Change campaign. Membership is wide and growing, from small charities to county councils, borough and district councils, businesses and individuals who have the drive and determination to make mental health matter to everyone, everywhere.

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How can you get involved?

  • If your organisation or group would like to join the Time to Change Surrey Hub, they are extending the core group of members to a 'virtual' county forum. By signing up you will receive information and news about activities and events in Surrey. Contact Megan Aspel at to sign up.
  • If you are interested in becoming a Time to Change Champion in Surrey please contact Megan Aspel at, or you can become a champion with the national campaign, see the Time to Change webpage for more information.

You can also sign the national Time to Change pledge to end mental health stigma.

Please visit Surrey Information Point for more information on events happening near you.

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Have you experienced stigma or discrimination around mental health problems?

If you think you have been treated unfairly because of your mental ill health by public services or in the workplace, our practical guide to challenging mental health stigma and discrimination (PDF) provides information on how you can comment or complain to health and social in public services or the workplace care, transport, hospitals, businesses, housing or local government in public services or the workplace.

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Files available to download