Today, if you didn't know it already, is World Mental Health Day. It's an opportunity, not just to raise awareness and understanding of mental health problems, but to also celebrate successes in the battle to eliminate stigma, discrimination and help broaden the range and quality of mental health services in this country and around the world.
It's also a chance to consider the small things we can all do to help someone we know struggling with mental health issues - or indeed, open up to someone for the first time about our own worries. A quick 'how are you?', a friendly text, or the offer of a cup of tea may sound like inconsequential gestures, but these little acts of empathy can make all the difference to someone feeling lost, isolated or misunderstood.
It's a theme running through a number of initiatives and campaigns being promoted today. The power of conversation to transform lives is arguably the secret of success behind NHS England's Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme and to which Alistair Burt, our Minister for Social Care and Community, attests in his blog today for The Huffington Post.
We'd also like to draw your attention to the fine work of Think Ahead, providers of a new route into social work, for graduates and career-changers, who today have launched a new film encouraging graduates to consider rewarding and challenging careers in mental health social work.
Find out more about the great work of Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and Time to Change and consider the little things you can do to make a big difference in the life of someone struggling with their mental health.
Happy World Mental Health Day!