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It Is Time To Talk

Time to Talk Day is an annual event focussing on the need for conversation about mental health.  Run by Mind UK in partnership with key mental health organisations in the devolved nations and supported by the Co-op, the day recognises the need to talk about our mental health and encourages us all to find opportunities to talk to family, friends and colleagues as well as professionals.

Many of us will happily discuss a physical health concern, yet are hesitant to discuss our mental health.  The Time to Talk initiative that helps to normalise the conversation.

Often we struggle to find the words to describe how we’re feeling, that’s partly because the conversations don’t happen enough. It’s very regular to hear someone say “I’ve strained my ankle” but how often do you hear someone say “my thinking is really negative” or “I feel constantly sad”.  There is a very real concern about judgement, how will the other person react to me.  Will they feel uncomfortable, will they think less of me. Often these concerns spill over, exacerbating the original feelings and isolating the individual even more.

Initiatives like Time to Talk can bring about the kind of cultural change that is needed to make talking about our mental health as mainstream as physical health.


Our clinicians share their Top Tips to get the conversation started:

Set the tone – Leaders in organisations can really set the tone and create psychological safety by sharing their own experiences

Ask twice – “I’m fine” rarely means all is well.  It’s a stock answer, one that doesn’t necessarily even require thought…if you sense that they’re not actually fine, ask again

Say what you see – respectfully of course, but if what you’re seeing doesn’t match what they’re saying then ask about it

Listen – it can take great courage to open up and if someone wants to talk the best thing you can do is be ready and able to listen without judgement and without trying to solve the issues

Support – Ask what support the individual would like and put a plan in place

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