PEOPLE in York have been encouraged to start talking about mental health at an event inviting them to “pour their hearts out”.

One in four people nationally will experience a mental-health problem, but to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, more people need to feel comfortable talking openly about it, York Mind and the Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) said yesterday.

They were encouraging people to take away a cup and a tea bag from a stall in Coppergate yesterday and have a chat over a nice cup of tea as part of Time To Talk Day.

Holly Pollard, from York Mind, said: “We really want the people of York to get involved with Time to Talk Day as well and find out more about mental health.

“We’d like to let people know that there is help available, sometimes from other sources than first thought, for anyone struggling to cope. Talking can be an important part of accepting and dealing with a mental health problem, whether it’s talking to a trained professional, joining a support group or speaking to someone you already know.”

The day was part of the national mental health organisation Time to Change’s latest advertising campaign, which aims to show that it’s the little things that people do that can make the biggest difference, such as having a drink and a chat.

Sue Baker, director of Time To Change, said: “Mental health problems affect one in four of us and yet many people suffer in silence because as a population we are too afraid to talk about the subject. We know that just a few small words can sometimes make the biggest difference, whether that’s over a cup of tea and a chat or a text message from someone asking how you are.”