YMCA launch new ‘Small Talks – Big Difference’ mental health campaign

Starting on World Mental Health Day (10 October), YMCA Trinity Group is urging everyone in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to break the silence over mental health by initiating small but meaningful conversations with friends, colleagues and even strangers as part of YMCA England & Wales Small Talks, Big Difference initiative.

Everyone struggles at times with their mental health, especially over the past 18 months, and yet speaking openly about it can still feel like an extremely daunting prospect. To help make this a little easier, we are asking people to take 15 minutes of their day this October for Tea Talks, and have devised a simple TALK plan to kick things off:


  • Take the time to engage and check in with those around you;
  • Ask twice about how they are feeling to break through the common ‘I’m fine’ response;
  • Learn to listen by being patient and don’t cut people off; and
  • Keep it up –don’t stop after one chat, keep checking in with each other.


As part of our TALK plan, packages will be available for Tea Talks in local YMCAs across England and Wales, including tea bags and key cards with questions and tips for initiating and progressing positive small talks to help tackle the big issue of mental health.

Our Chief Executive, Johnathan Martin, said: “Mental health means different things to different people, but a resounding and uniting element is the need for support, openness, and continued work to remove the stigma from one of the most debilitating illnesses affecting so many people right now.

Small Talks is about breaking down barriers and breaking the silence in order to do just that. In taking the time to have these conversations and ensure that we all make ourselves available to listen, everyone can have a positive impact on the mental health of those around them.”

YMCAs connect almost 72,000 young people with someone to talk to or a helping hand, offering specialist guidance and practical skills to best equip them to overcome whatever challenges they may face. At YMCA Trinity Group, we have our own dedicated mental health service offering support and courses to help young people as well as staff and adults.