Make Time To Talk about mental health on 6th February
Thursday 6th February is Time to Talk Day, a campaign that encourages people to break down stigmas by speaking about their mental health.
Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 of us, yet people are still reluctant and afraid to speak about it openly.
Time to Talk Day is a reminder that everyone benefits from knowing and understanding more about mental health.
The right ingredients
This year, the campaign is focused on bringing together the right ingredients to have a conversation about mental health, whether that’s over a cup of tea with a close friend or in a room full of people all committed to breaking down stigmas.
Tips for talking
Whether you want to discuss your own mental health or ask someone you care about theirs, here are some tips for starting the conversation.
Ask questions & listen
Giving someone space to express how they are feeling is important to open up a conversation. You don’t need to know the right thing to say – the best thing you can do is listen.
Try side by side
Face to face conversation can feel too confrontational at times. It’s often easier to open up when talking side by side, such as in the car together or out on a walk. Having something else to focus on – like walking or cooking – can help both of you feel more relaxed, and in turn, more open.
Don’t try and fix it
Talking about mental health isn’t about offering quick fixes, and sometimes trying to help the problem actually puts more pressure on the person suffering. Unless they’ve asked for advice directly, take the time to listen. The journey to good mental health can be a long and winding process and is about more than just getting on with things or taking some extra exercise, even if those are two strategies that might ultimately help. Being there to listen while they try and explain or make sense of what they’re going through may well be the most powerful form of support you can offer in that moment.
When you’re not talking
Talking isn’t the only way to support someone or feel supported through a mental health crisis. Try texting to let them know you’re thinking of them and finding something you can do to spend time together. When someone is in the grips of depression they often worry they’ll never feel like themselves again; treating your friend or family member just the same as you always would can go a long way. If someone is really struggling, ask yourself whether there are any day-to-day tasks you could help with that would take some pressure off their shoulders.
Will you be having a conversation about mental health for Time to Talk Day?
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Click below to submit your query online.
* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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