Today is Time to Talk Day, (run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op) a UK wide campaign, with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and See Me in Scotland, Inspire and Change Your Mind in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales.

The day is all about having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health, by talking about it we can support ourselves and others.

Time to Talk Day was launched in 2014 by Time to Change, a campaign to end mental health stigma, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Mental health issues have increased since the start of the pandemic, with more than 2/3 of UK adults worried about the impact COVID is having on their life.

Anxiety is a really common term that we are definitely seeing more about online and the pandemic has really highlighted how much people are struggling. Mental Health is no longer something that’s swept under the rug due to campaigns like Time to Talk Day and more people being open and honest online.

There is no one right way to talk about mental health; however, these tips can help you approach it in a helpful way.

1. Ask questions and listen this time to talk day

Asking questions can give the person an easy way for someone to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand them better and what they’re going through. Try to ask questions that are open and not judgmental, like “how do feel about that?”.

Two people talking over coffee this time to talk day.

2. Appropriate time and place

Sometimes it’s easier to talk online rather than face to face. But, 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 etc.

3. Toxic positivity

It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to tell them to ‘just be positive’, that ‘others have it worse’ etc. Learning to manage mental health can be a long road, and they need your support and not to feel like their feelings aren’t valid. Just talking or sitting with someone can be so helpful, it might be best to just be there for them & listen if they feel like talking.

5. Don’t treat them differently

When someone struggles with poor mental health, they’re still the same person they were. When a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently or avoided. Do the things you’d normally do.

6. Give them time to talk

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through – that’s ok. They might be ready to open up another time and you’ll be ready.

For more tips, read How I Cope – My Tips For Good Mental Health.

Time to talk day in partnership with the coop. Start a conversation about mental health. However you do it.

And there are lots of things you can do to support them even if you’re not talking:

  • Sending a text to let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Offering to help with day-to-day tasks.
  • Baking them some treats.

Sometimes people experiencing mental health problems will need some extra support, as conversations may bring up difficult things. There are lots of places you can go or direct people to for help.

It’s great to start a conversation about mental health. I hope that these tips help get people talking.

Co-op are raising £8m for Mind, SAMH and Inspire to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing. Along with delivering Time to Talk Day 2022, these vital funds are providing new services in over 50 local communities across the UK to support people’s mental wellbeing.

 

3 Comments

  1. Definitely feel the toxic positivity in this day and age. Like you can manifest your way out of a bad place! Such good points to remember.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.