Today is Time to Talk Day 2016, part of the Time to Change campaign that was set up to combat mental health stigmatisation and discrimination. The campaign has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and is now coordinating a range of projects to help the growing number of people across the UK suffering from mental illness. Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham & Rainham pledged his support for the campaign back in 2012 and thinks initiatives such as this are becoming increasingly important in the fight against stigma.

Jon commented: "Mental health is often the area least discussed when we talk about general health or NHS issues – this has to change. Over the last few years there has been a noticeable rise cases that come through my office with some form of mental health aspect, and whilst there are some fantastic charities and initiatives such as Time to Change, more still needs to be done."

The Mental Health Foundation recently published a document outlining the fundamental facts about mental health which can be found by clicking HERE

The Foundation outlines that: "A review conducted in 2013 found that socioeconomic deprivation had a clear relationship with mental health problems in childhood and adolescence. Children from socio-economically disadvantaged families were three times more likely to develop mental health problems."

With a widening economic gap in society, cuts to public services, and to welfare safety nets across the country, many people who were already some of the most vulnerable are feeling under increasing pressure. This is why it is important now more than ever for people to support the growing number of campaigns centred around preventative measures, and ending stigma and discrimination – particularly in schools around young people and in the workplace.

Jon added: "It is important to start breaking down barriers – and talking is the first step in many cases; raising awareness and understanding. That is why I am in full support of Labour Campaign for Mental Health's latest project This Is My Story – and the Time to Talk campaign. I hope residents of Dagenham and Rainham, and the wider public will get involved to help end discrimination."

You can find out more about the Labour Campaign for Mental Health by clicking HERE or via Twitter @Labour_MH using the hashtag #ThisIsMyStory #labmh

You can find out more about the Time to Talk campaign and how you can get involved by clicking HERE or following the campaign for updates on Twitter @TimetoChange

Mental health has been at the forefront in the local press recently due to statistics from the North East London NHS Foundation Trust being released, which highlight that in the past three years there have been 762 serious incidents which is the fifth highest in England. Much of the Trust's operation is dedicated to mental health and community health services, and the recent review highlights that nationally numbers among mental health based trusts have soared by 34 per cent. Worryingly 59 deaths at the Trust have been attributed to suicide or suspected suicide. This is something that Jon Cruddas will be meeting with the Chief Executive of the Trust to discuss in the coming weeks, ascertaining what provisions the Trust is putting in place to improve the service as a response to the recent figures.

If you live locally and would like support dealing with a mental health issue please contact one of the following: which is an online support forum.

Email to contact Havering Mind the mental health charity

Or you can call the Dagenham mental health support line on: 0300 555 1018