Time to Talk Day 2019
Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year, yet people are still afraid to talk about it. Today, 7 Feb 2019 we are supporting annual Time To Talk Day, and we are encouraging people across Lambeth to open up and have a conversation about mental health and end mental health discrimination.
The silence and stigma surrounding mental health can be as bad as the mental health problem itself, meaning that a simple conversation to check up on someone could change their life. However, we understand that not everyone knows how or what to say to someone they feel may be struggling.
We would like to reassure you that you don't need to be an expert to talk about mental health and there is no right way to talk about it. Helping your friend open up can be as simple as simple as asking them 'Are you sure you're ok?', it's short, simple and can be very effective.
Here are some further tips from Time to Change, the creators of the Time To Talk campaign, to make sure you're conversing with someone about their mental health in a helpful way:
1. Ask questions and listen
Asking questions can give the person space to express how they're feeling and what they're going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgemental – such as "how does that affect you" or "what does it feel like?"
2. Think about the time & place
Sometimes it's easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, 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 or stuck in traffic. However, don't let the search for the perfect place put you off!
3. Don't try & fix it
It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they're going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey, and they've likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they've asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.
4. Treat them the same
When someone has a mental health problem , they're still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don't want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you'd normally do.
5. Be patient
No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they're going through. That's ok – the fact that you've tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.
For more information surrounding this campaign, you can visit the Time To Change website and for more information about the wide range of mental health support available in Lambeth, visit our mental health support pages here.