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Time For Change "lets get talking"

The Time for Change documentary is a project that was nationally funded by Time for Change in partnership with Sheffield Mind and the Sheffield Health & Social Care Team.

The project produced a 30 minute documentary film that explores stigma and taboo of mental health problems across generations of different black and minority ethnic communities. It will explored the impact cultural outlook has on individual views and experience and how this is different across the generations. The focus was primarily on the Pakistani and Somali communities within Sheffield. A training tool was also produced to accompany the film, this took the form of a ‘walk and talk’ guide. 

The film is based on the stories of people from BME communities who have lived and experienced mental health problems. This also includes carers and family members.  The interviews tell the personal story of the individuals including how their communities reacted and the support they received. The stories of people from across the generations are included; younger people up to the age of 25, adults up to 60 and elders.

The stories were collected through a series of workshops facilitated by Time to Change Champions (TTCCs). These were volunteers who have experienced mental health problems themselves who will work within their communities to encourage others to talk about their own experience. Where people did not wish to be filmed, actors were used and translators were used where people spoke in their native language. 

Once produced the film was taken to existing community groups. This included lunch clubs, youth clubs, elders groups, carers groups, womens’ groups and many others including into places such as mosques and churches. The TTCCs help to facilitate these sessions using the training tool which suggested how the sessions were run and facilitated discussion etc. The aim of sessions was to stimulate discussion about mental health and encourage people to talk about their own experience as well as to promote fuller understanding and help address myths. Information about services and where to go to for help was provided as well as suggestions about how to support people who are experiencing mental health difficulties. The intergenerational context of the film is to help promote understanding across different age groups. The film was also taken to community festivals such as Sharrow, Firth Park, Abbeyfield and the mela in Darnall (all areas of Sheffield with high numbers of people from BME communities). 

The TTCCs are now part of the established Health Champion programme run by the Sheffield Wellbeing Consortium in Sheffield.  This is a programme where volunteers are recruited from within communities who are then trained and supported to work within those communities to improve health and wellbeing.  See 




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