Question: How are you?

Question: How are you?

What was your answer? Many of us will say ‘fine’, even when we’re not…

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem and 9 in 10 say they have faced negative treatment from others as a result. By choosing to be open about mental health, we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone for having a mental health problem.

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Today, Thursday 1st February 2018 marks Time To Talk day – the day to get the nation talking about mental health. It’s a chance for us all to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives. It’s easy to think there’s no right place to talk about it. But the more we talk about it, the better life is for all of us.

The Wellbeing Committee I am part of at work, have decided to hold a morning and an afternoon coffee session in a relaxed chill out room within our office. Our staff will be able to gather information on mental health issues, pick up tips and support, chat with each other and/or one of the trained Mental Health First Aiders within the office. We are planning on keeping it very informal to get away from the clinical-ness that it could potentially be!

Send a text, an email, a tweet or a Facebook message, or chat to someone right now and have your conversation about mental health, don’t know how?

  1. Start Small: Many people find talking in person intimidating, and that’s understandable. But it doesn’t need to stop you from starting a conversation altogether. You could make a quick phone call, send your best mate a text, or leave a note for a parent.
  2. Find A Good Time & Place: Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic.
  3. Ask (Gentle) Questions: There are lots of misconceptions around mental illness. That means asking questions can be an important way of learning. Just remember not to get too personal, and be aware if the discussion is making someone feel uncomfortable.
  4. Be Open: Being open and honest with others can help to build trust. For example, you might choose to tell your friend something about you that they may not know. Just remember, don’t feel pressure to share anything that you are not comfortable with.
  5. Treat Them The Same: When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.

For further info and resources, please see Time To Change.

Photo/Logo: Time To Change

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