We Brits love our tea; reaching for a cuppa in times of crisis, grief, friendship and joy. Putting the kettle on could be our national sport! The humble cup of tea has been a stalwart for generations.
National Tea Day is the official day in the UK to celebrate our love of tea and reinvigorate our passion for tea. Celebrated each year on the 21st April, this year sees the launch of the ‘Reignite Your Passion’ campaign, encouraging people to get excited about sampling great teas and to opt for a healthy tea which can help you feel better. Whether you are drinking a cup of tea at home, in a café, an elegant tearoom, motorway service station or from a flask, National Tea Day is the day to celebrate tea and perhaps try something a bit different.
This year Mind (the national mental health charity) has partnered with the National Tea Day to raise awareness about the benefits of having a chat over a cup of tea. Tea has always brought people together, playing a key role in the social aspects of daily life and shared experiences. Approximately one in four people are suffering from mental health problems in the UK, and with depression and loneliness on the rise, its time to put down our phones and take the time to meet up and have a conversation over an enjoyable cuppa.
Marco Geraghty, Director at National Tea Day, said: ‘Tea has such a historic role in Britain of being a social facilitator, it brings people together and gets them talking. Whether it is a friend, family member or even an old colleague why not meet up over a tea and talk about what is on your mind. It can really help alleviate stress and let you know that there are others who care for you.’
The message of meeting up over a tea is going to be seen on the London Underground, national media and social media channels in a lengthy campaign specifically designed to target young people where mental health issues are particularly prevalent.
Rebecca Hastings, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Mind, said: ‘We’re really grateful to National Tea Day for choosing to support Mind. It’s fantastic to see people get together over a cuppa to combat loneliness and talk about whatever is on their mind.
‘Every penny raised will fund our vital work including Mind’s Infoline, advice services and the campaigning work we do to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.’
Loneliness isn’t a mental health problem in itself, but it is linked to mental health – feeling lonely can contribute to developing things like anxiety and depression, while people living with mental health problems are more likely to feel lonely.
Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, said: ‘If your feelings of loneliness are having a negative impact on your mental health, talk to your GP. There are also lots of things you can do to help you feel less lonely, such as volunteering, starting a hobby or exercising. If you find social contact difficult, try a supportive online community like Mind’s Elefriends, or visit Mind’s info pages on loneliness to find more information and support available.”
FesTeaVal is a celebration of all things tea relates and is taking place on the 13th and 14th April at Tobacco Dock, London. Visitors will be able to enjoy tea tastings, cultural activities and discover the sustainability of the industry by cycling (and recycling) tea waste for farm reuse. Visitors will be able to see just how versatile tea is. It can be enjoyed steaming hot, as a long infused cold brew, as a cooking ingredient, infused in broths, incorporated into desserts, mixed in cocktails or mocktails, enjoyed at all times of the day, or paired with food like wine. The options are endless.
A portion of the gate receipts from FesTeaVal will be donated to Mind. Marco Geraghty added that ‘We are very proud to be able to make a financial contribution to support Mind’s great work and helping them in providing support services to those most in need’.
For more information on Mind please visit: www.mind.org.uk. Mind has a confidential information and support line available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am – 6pm, Monday – Friday)