World Mental Health Day
The theme for this year is ‘mental health is a universal human right’.
Being open and talking about mental health is so important. It can help people to feel empowered to speak up and ask for the help they need. However, starting a conversation isn’t always easy.
Here are some top tips that can help from the Mental Health Foundation Website.
If you would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling:
1. Choose someone you trust to talk to
This might be a friend, family member or a colleague. Or you might be more comfortable talking to someone you don’t know, for example, through a support helpline.
2. Think about the best place to talk
It’s important to choose a place where you feel comfortable enough to open-up. You might want to choose somewhere private where you’re less likely to be disturbed. You also might want to talk while you do an activity, like walking together.
3. Prepare yourself for their reaction
Hopefully, you will have a good experience when you open-up to someone. But there’s a chance that they may not react in the way you hope. This may be for different reasons, like they may be worried or not fully understand at first. If that’s the case, try to give them time to process what you’ve told them. It might help to give them information to read to help them understand. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself and practise self-care.
If you are checking in on someone you care about:
1. Find a good space to talk without distractions
Try to find a place where you know you can have a conversation without being distracted. Make sure to give them your full attention. It might help to switch off your phone.
2. Listen and ask questions
Listening can be one of the most valuable ways to be there for someone. Show them that you’re actively listening by facing them, making eye contact, and not interrupting. Questions can help you clarify what they mean and also show that you’re actively listening. But make sure the questions are relevant to what they’re saying, and not changing the subject.
3. Ask how you can help
Ask how you can help or make suggestions, rather than telling them what to do next. They might want support with making a GP appointment or just for you to keep things normal and chat about what’s going on in your life.