It’s good to talk

As the stigma of mental health is slowly fading we are being encouraged to talk about our mental health issues.  And quite right too, this is not just a quirky trend; it can really help to turn lives around.

Whether it’s you or someone you care about who is wrestling with a mental health problem AXA PPP healthcare have put together some tips on how to open up about mental health issues and help others who may also be struggling.

How to talk about your own mental health issues

  1. Accept that it is not uncommon to feel like you do – many people struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives.
  2. You don’t have to suffer alone – there are ways to get support, whether it be from your GP, a helpline, family, a friend or work colleague.
  3. Be honest – if someone who cares about you asks how you are then be honest with them about your feelings
  4. If you want to talk but feel uncomfortable try doing something else whilst talking, like walking, or sitting beside rather than in face to face with someone – it’s often easier to talk about difficult subjects when you don’t have to make eye contact.
  5. Talking about your problems does not mean you’re being weak, it means you’re being strong. It can bring enormous relief and is an important first step to finding the help you need.

How to encourage someone else to talk about their mental health

  1. Try asking twice – if you are concerned about someone then tell them and give them a chance to respond. If they say they’re fine then try asking again. It shows them that you’re not just being polite but you genuinely do care.
  2. Make sure they know that you’re there for them when they need to talk
  3. Don’t pressure – just be ready when they feel they are able to open up to you and give them a safe environment in which to do so.
  4. Face to face conversations can make people feel uncomfortable so sit next to them rather than face them or go for a walk instead.
  5. Don’t judge or offer a solution but encourage them to seek professional help. This may be through their GP or another support service. Research the support available and make them aware of it so they can do so in their own time.

Talking openly about mental health is important for all of us.  To find further ways to help ourselves and others here are some sites worth visiting:

To help talk about your own mental health:

Talking mental health guide – Headstrong
Friendship and mental health – Mental Health Foundation
How to talk to your GP about your mental health – Mental Health Foundation

For help supporting others with mental health problems:

Helping others with mental health problems – NHS Every mind matters
How you can help – Rethink mental illness
5 ways to start a conversation about mental health – Time to Change

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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.


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AXA PPP healthcare

The more you know about your body and how you can look after it, the healthier you are – and the stronger and bolder you become. That’s why we never stop looking for ways to support your health. We want to give you the tools and knowledge you need to take care of yourself – so you’re ready to face whatever the world brings.

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