Time to Change works nationally to reduce the stigma, prejudice and discrimination that surround mental health simply by talking about it - bringing it out of the secrecy and shadows that have surrounded this for far too long, and that have blighted far too many people's lives.
We hope a range of people will join our local group: Mental Health Service Users and those with lived experience of poor mental health; their families; carers; friends; colleagues and neighbours; and more widely from the general public, people whose awareness of this has been raised, perhaps by things in the media, or who generally just want to know more.
For many of these people Leicester Time to Change also aims to act as a self-help group, enabling people to come together in a safe environment to talk about their own experiences and to share how this has affected them and how they have worked to overcome this.
For some, training to become 'Champions for Time to Change' will also increase their self-confidence and self-esteem so that they will feel able to go out and talk with people who they don't know about this, and in itself this will, we believe, help them to feel more in control over their own destinies and what affects their lives.
There is a place for you to write about your own thoughts and experiences in the members page. Let us know. If you'd prefer to remain anonymous, fine, we will respect that. If you've got a blog - great, let us know about it. You can leave comments on our Facebook page (Leicester TimeToChange) but most of all we aim to provide real social networking by bringing interested people together once a month at our meetings at the Exchange Bar in Leicester City Centre.
The venue is easily accessed by people coming by bus, and unless the group grows too big (in which case we will have to move downstairs to the 'Basement') the room we are using, 'The Snug', is on the ground floor and fully accessible with a disabled toilet. Although it is in a pub there is no bar serving in our room, and should you want to buy a drink the bar serves tea and coffee as well as a full range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and usually has an interesting range of cakes and other snacks.
The group aims to be friendly and informal, and there is no pressure - it is up to each individual to decide what and how much they wish to talk about and when. People are welcome just to come along and watch for as long as they like before they decide they want to take part. Our main aim is to make it safe and inclusive to all.
Meetings are on the 3rd Monday of every month in 'The Snug' at the Exchange Bar opposite the Curve Theatre, on the corner of Belvoir St and Rutland St - just off Charles St. We arrive from about 7.30 and start properly at 8.00, and finish round about 10.00 ish, although people are welcome to sit around and chat until the bar closes.