Time To Talk Day

Time to talk day is about opening up to talking about mental health struggles and ending mental health stigma and discrimination.

It was launched in 2014 in partnership with Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and Co-Op.

We all have mental health struggles one way or another and by opening up about how we are feeling to others, it can help ourselves and encourage others to open up too.

Why is it important to open up about our struggles?

By being open with others how you are feeling, it can feel like a weight off your chest and people who care about you will want to help you go through whatever struggles or issues you may be facing.

Keeping your struggles to yourself can cause more harm than good and it may cause more negative affects if you keep it bottled inside you. It is understandable how difficult opening up can be and it may be hard talking about some issues. Just remember, you don’t need to rush into talking about something if it is too much for you or you aren’t ready.

To help start the conversation on mental health, here are some tips to get things started.

Beginning asking “are you okay” or how are you”.

Just asking them how they are doing will make them aware that you are interested in know how they are feeling. They might end up being okay, but will appreciate you asking. They might not be ready to open up to how they are feeling and they will let you know that, but a simple asking about how they are feeling can let people know that you care and want to know that they are doing okay.

Listen and respond in a non-judgement way.

If someone is opening up about how they are feeling, it is important to put your full attention to them and show them you care what they are saying. If you don’t seem bothered with what the person is talking about, they aren’t going to want to continue with what they are saying and they may get more upset too.

Responding in a non-judgemental way is very important because you are there to listen to give advice to someone opening up about struggles and if you are going to judge them, this isn’t going to make them feel better and may make them not want to open up to you again.

Relate to your own experiences.

It can be very helpful responding to people about your own experiences when someone is opening up about their own struggles. By relating to your own experiences, it can show the other person that it isn’t just them who has gone through a particular issue as when people are struggling, sometimes it feels like they are the only person who has gone through it.  It also can help because they can learn from your experience and hopefully, they can learn to get through how they are feeling.

Don’t push them to talk.

For some people, it can be very hard opening up about their struggles. It can be triggering and especially if its recent, it can make it worse talking about it. There is no harm asking someone if they want to talk about it, but you must ensure to respect someone’s request if they don’t want to talk about something. Sometimes it just takes time before someone can be ready to open up about something.

Make them know you are always there for them to talk.

Even after talking to someone about an issue, it can make the person feel that their problems and issues are important if you offer the opportunity to talk if they need it again. They might be someone who needed it just for a one-off time, but it means the person will know that they can come back to you to talk if they need to.

Talking about how we are feeling is important because you shouldn’t have to deal with your problems or struggles alone. Family, friends and many people around you want to be able to help and get you through whatever you are dealing with.
Don’t be afraid to open up and take that first step in starting the conversation.

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