Time to Talk Day is a day to start a conversation about mental health. Talking about mental health isn’t easy, but a conversation has the power to change lives.
If someone shares their mental health struggles with you, it may not always be easy to respond.
There's no single right way to discuss mental health, but the following tips can help make you’re approaching the conversation helpfully.
- Ask questions and listen: Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling, what they’re going through and it can 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?"
- Consider the time and place: Sometimes, it's easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. If you talk in person, you might want to chat while doing something else, such as walking, cooking or during commutes. Don't stress about finding the perfect setting.
- Don't try to fix it: It can be really hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time. Try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Managing or recovering from a mental health problem can be a long journey. They've likely explored various strategies. Talking can be incredibly powerful, so it might be best to listen unless they’ve asked for advice.
- Treat them the same: When someone has a mental health problem, they are still the same person they were before. When a friend or loved one opens up about their mental health, treat them as you normally would. Keep it simple and maintain your regular contact.
- Be patient: Not everyone may be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That's okay. Your willingness to talk about it may make it easier for them to open up in the future.
For additional guidance on supporting others, you might find Mind's "Conversations in the Community" training helpful. Together, let's continue to support each other and have these important conversations around mental health in the electrical industry community.