5 tips to help you talk about your mental health
1. Accept that you’re experiencing difficulties and that it’s OK to feel the way you do.
Most of us struggle with our mental health at some point, or points, in our lives; it’s not uncommon and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
2. Remember you’re not alone
Whether it’s a member of your family, a friend, colleague, your GP or someone at the end of a helpline, support is available – you just need to reach out for it.
3. If someone asks how you’re doing it’s OK to be honest.
Often when someone asks how we are, we automatically answer that we’re “well” or “fine”. But if they ask a second time, or if they express concern, you can take it they’re genuinely interested, not just making polite conversation, and that it’s OK to be honest about how you’re feeling.
4. If you find it difficult to open up about your thoughts and feelings, try talking while walking or sitting side by side.
It sounds like such a small thing, but taking away eye contact can make it a lot easier to broach difficult subjects openly and honestly.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of talking about your mental health issues.
Far from being a sign of weakness, acknowledging to others that there’s a problem can be incredibly empowering, not to mention a huge relief. It’s also an important step towards accessing the help you need, whether that’s the support and understanding of a loved one, a reduced workload or time off to recuperate, or professional treatment.
And it’s not just for your own benefit; talking openly about your mental health helps break down the stigma that can keep problems hidden and put an end to the silent suffering of others.1