Talk about mental health

04-02-2021

It's not the most comfortable conversation to have, even with a loved one. But starting a conversation about mental health doesn't have to be complicated. A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a huge difference.

There is no right way to talk about it, but these tips might be able to help you.

Ask questions and listen.

Asking someone a question gives them the chance to express how they feel, but it's essential to provide them with time to find the words and that they don't feel rushed. Try to ask open questions and don't be judgemental.

Time and place

Some people might find it more comfortable to talk side by side rather than face to face. You might want to chat while on a walk, travelling in a car or busy doing something such as cooking. It will feel more relaxed.

Don't try and fix it.

It can be hard to see a loved one having a difficult time but resist solving all their problems with quick fixes and solutions. They have probably already considered it all anyway. Instead, listen to them and only give them advice if they directly ask for it.

Treat them the same

Remember, no matter what the person is going through, they are still the same person they were before. When a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don't want to be treated differently. Do things as you usually would.

Be patient

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they are going through. But the fact that you have initiated a conversation is a great start - it makes it easier for them to approach you when they are ready.

And remember, there are lots of things you can do to help someone without talking. Plan activities together, send a text to let them know that you're thinking of them, offer to help with day-to-day tasks.

If you want more advice about mental health, please visit Time to Change website here.

Source: Tips for talking about mental health | Time To Change (time-to-change.org.uk)