Let's talk mental health
Join in for Time to Talk Day
With one in four people affected by mental health problems, Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System are encouraging people to make 3rd February Time to Talk Day.
The Time to Talk Day campaign is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in partnership with Co-op.
The day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health.
It is about us all being open to the idea of talking – we all have mental health, and by having conversations about it we can help ourselves and others. It’s not about encouraging people to talk about a mental health problem if they don’t want to.
If someone does open up about their mental health, we know it might not always feel easy to know what to say. But it doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a big difference.
There is no right way to talk about mental health; however, the below tips (taken from the Time to Talk Day website Talking Tips - Time To Talk Day) can help make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way.
Let’s talk about it…..
There are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health – you don’t have to be an expert to talk. Start a conversation, have a cuppa with a colleague, loved one or neighbour about mental health.
By choosing to be open, we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation around mental health and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone for having a mental health problem.
- 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 judgmental, like “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?”
- Think about the time and 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!
- Don’t try and 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.
- 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.
- 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.
There are lots of things you can do to support them even if you’re not talking:
- Find things in your community to get involved in together
- Sending a text to let them know you’re thinking of them
- Offering to help with day-to-day tasks
There are a range of services available to support local people in maintaining good mental wellbeing and addressing any problems as they arise. Visit this page for more information of local services, https://www.frimleyhealthandcare.org.uk/living-here/helping-you-to-stay-well/mental-wellbeing/.