8 ways to start your conversation
As one in four people experience a mental health problem each year, talking openly about mental health has the potential to make life better for all of us. But the stigma surrounding mental illness means talking can sometimes seem difficult.
It doesn’t have to be! Time to Change, the national anti-stigma campaign we run with Mind, is hosting its annual Time to Talk day on Thursday 4th February. Carl from the team has pulled together his favourite ways you can get the conversation started...
1. Get some fresh air with someone
Talking doesn’t have to start with talking. Sometimes it can start with walking. If you spend a big part of your day inside, ask someone if they fancy getting some fresh air and see where the conversation takes you.
2. Text a friend and ask ‘How are you?’
It can be difficult to keep count how many times you’re asked ‘how are you?’ in one day. But for many of us it can be much easier to count just how many times you give the real answer. Talking face-to-face about how you are is not always easy, so why not check in with a friend or loved one via text or email?
3. Make someone a cup of tea and have a chat
The cup of tea: a Great British tradition. It’s also a perfect excuse to chat whilst the kettle boils and see how someone’s doing. Tea not your thing? Why not grab a coffee, a bottle of water or whatever tickles your fancy? It doesn’t matter what’s in your cup, it’s all about whom you share it with.
4. Call someone and ask how they are
Falling out of touch with someone can be all too easy sometimes. If you’ve got five minutes to spare on Time to Talk Day pick up your phone and catch up with someone you haven’t managed to for a while.
5. Tell someone how you’re feeling today
Revealing how you’re feeling can be daunting. But if it’s someone you trust, being open can often inspire an open response and an honest conversation. Just be sure you only say as much as you are comfortable doing so.
6. Thank someone for something they’ve done for you
We don’t always realise the impact of the small things we naturally do for others on a daily basis. An unprompted ‘thank you’ is a nice way to show someone how much you value them and open up a conversation in ways you may not expect.
7. Find out what someone does to unwind on a tough day
Sharing ideas on how to relax is an interesting and helpful way to start a conversation about mental health for all involved. Not only could it prompt a colleague or loved one to take a look at how they manage their wellbeing, you may also pick up a few tips for yourself!
8. Download our handy materials today
If you’re running an event or planning to talk to a big group of people on Time to Talk Day, sometimes having some materials to hand is a great way to break the ice and get talking. Head over to the Time to Change website and download posters, conversation starters, bunting and other useful bits to help get you started.
And once you’ve had your conversation, don’t forget to log your chat on our map on the day at time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday.