People in Fife are being invited to have an open conversation about mental health and to say what they really mean.

See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination, is urging everyone start this with Time to Talk Day, on Thursday, February 1.

The programme wants Scots to think about how they can start conversations regarding mental health stigma, particularly in workplaces, schools, and communities.

Last year on Time to Talk Day, there was a mix of online and in-person events and activities across the country.

See Me volunteer Chik Duncan, who has a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), said that being honest felt “a lot easier than not talking about it.

Central Fife Times: Chik has opened up about his own mental health.Chik has opened up about his own mental health. (Image: See Me)

“At the very beginning, when I started to become unwell, it was quite gradual. I certainly didn't understand what was happening to me. It wasn't so much that I was denying I was unwell or that I was telling anyone I was ‘fine’ – I just wasn't telling anybody anything.

Chik only opened up about his struggles after he had the help of his friends and seeing a psychologist.

He added: “I fairly quickly realised that being open about my mental health was so much easier than trying to hide it. Because hiding it, you’re putting yourself under more stress, more pressure, and OCD is an anxiety-related condition, so it only makes it worse.

“I’ve also found that since then, so many potentially awkward situations have been de-fused by me going: ‘Oh, sorry, I can’t do that. I have OCD.’

“It takes a lot of the pressure off of you.”

Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation and is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is delivered by See Me in Scotland.

Wendy Halliday, See Me director, said: “Time to Talk Day provides an ideal chance to ask someone how they are, and encourage them to really say how they feel.

“By talking about mental health, we can challenge attitudes and outdated views – reducing stigma and creating supportive communities where talking about mental health can feel empowering.”