Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated and ashamed. It’s time to change the way we all think and act about mental health, and empower people to start a conversation. ‘It’s ok not to be ok’.
However, talking about mental health is not always easy. There is no right way to talk about mental health. There is no right place either. You can talk about mental health anywhere – at home, at work, even on a train!
With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem this year alone, if a mate says he’s fine, he might not be. To really find out, ask twice.
Starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a huge difference. That is why we have put together a handy list of ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’t’s’ to help you start a conversation with a friend, colleague or family member:
- “Thanks for opening up to me.”
- “Is there anything I can do to help?”
- “How can I help?”
- “Thanks for sharing.”
- “I’m sorry to hear that. It must be tough.”
- “I’m here for you when you need me.”
- “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”
- “Can I drive you to an appointment?”
- “How are you feeling today?”
- “I love you.”
- “It could be worse.”
- “Just deal with it.”
- “Snap out of it.”
- “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”
- “We’ve all been there.”
- “You’ve got to pull yourself together.”
- “Maybe try thinking happier thoughts.”
For more helpful dos and don’ts when opening up to someone with a mental health issue. Watch this short video
In addition, increasing your vocabulary around the topic will help you understand and process your own emotions and be better equipped to help loved ones process their emotions. For example, identify when you feel… overwhelmed, anxious, scared, let down, upset, over-stimulated etc and how these different feelings effect your emotions.
Then once you are confident with what you are going to say, and how it makes you feel, start a conversation today. Because talking can save lives.
Time for Change 2019 – https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-mental-health/ask-twice/our-guide-asking-twice
To learn more about removing the stigma around mental health and for tips about talking, visit: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-mental-health/tips-starting-conversation
If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help. https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support