A post for Time To Talk Day 2019
Lanarkshire Carer’s Centre held their Time To Talk Day last Friday 1st February and spoke about the myths and facts of mental health, how it is ok to not be ok, how to have an environment where it is ok to talk and also a good look over useful resources for support. One of the resources the group found useful was the following advice from mental health charity Time To Change, on how to approach the topic of mental health in a helpful and supportive way:
1. Ask questions and listen. Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through.
2. Think about the time and place. Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side 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.
3. Don’t try and fix it. It can be difficult to see someone you care about having a bad 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. Best just listen.
4. Treat them the same. When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person 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.
5. 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.
Thanks to Lanarkshire Carer’s Centre for sharing this valuable advice with us. You can follow them on Twitter @Lan-Carers or visit their website.