Today is Time to Talk Day 2022.
Our HR Manager, Jen, has set aside some time to speak about Time to Talk Day and share some useful advice and tips below.
Time to Talk Day is about us all being open to the idea of talking – we all have mental health, and by having conversations about it we can help ourselves and others. It’s not about encouraging people to talk about a mental health problem if they don’t want to. If someone does open up about their mental health, we know it might not always feel easy to know what to say. But it doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a big difference.
There is no right way to talk about mental health; however, these tips can help make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way.
1. Ask questions and listen – try to ask open questions like “how does that affect you?” or “how does that feel for you?” rather than leading or judgemental
2. Ask twice – most people will say they’re fine the first time you ask, if you think its not true then ask again and you might be surprised at the answer
3. Think about the time and place – some people find it easier to talk side by side rather than face to face, or while they’re doing something else like cooking or walking. But if you have to have a conversation with someone about a difficult topic don’t wait for the perfect moment
4. Don’t try and fix it – this one is really important! Unless asked directly for advice don’t offer it, just listen and let them get it off their chest. You can suggest they try things if it feels appropriate but be prepared for resistance
5. Treat them the same – if someone is struggling with their mental health they’re still a person, you wouldn’t treat them any differently if they broke their leg so don’t treat them any differently if they’re struggling with their mental health. Make sure you still do the normal things you always have with them
6. Be patient – its hard supporting someone through any illness and they may not be ready to talk even if you want to help, be there, offer an ear but don’t force it until they’re ready
7. Be kind to yourself – its hard supporting someone through any illness so know and protect your own boundaries too and take time out for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for support for yourself too, you cant pour from an empty cup!
Remember there are lots of avenues for support out there for you or for anyone suffering with their mental health.
The first stop in a crisis should be medical help (GP or NHS 111 or in a crisis A&E/999) or call
Samaritans on 116 123 (UK Wide)
Text SHOUT to 85258 (UK Wide)
Call C.A.L.L on 0800 132 737 (Wales Only)
For ongoing support and advice
SANEline 0300 304 7000 (4.30-10.30pm daily)
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) 0800 58 58 58 (5pm-midnight daily, specifically for men’s mental health)
Mind UK has some useful tips too if you want to read more about supporting your own and/or someone elses mental health Home - Mind
Jen is our Mental Health First Aider and am available to offer help and support should you need it. She can be contacted by email (email@example.com) for confidential help and advice.