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
- Accept that it is not uncommon to feel like you do – many people struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives.
- 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.
- Be honest – if someone who cares about you asks how you are then be honest with them about your feelings
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Make sure they know that you’re there for them when they need to talk
- 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.
- Face to face conversations can make people feel uncomfortable so sit next to them rather than face them or go for a walk instead.
- 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:
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 health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.
Click below to submit your question online.
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