Starting the conversation
Talking is important.
It’s how we share ideas, work together, and build friendships.
And it’s also how we ask for help when we need it. Sadly, that can sometimes feel really difficult. We might not know who will listen, or even know who to share our worries with when we need to. And when it comes to talking about mental health, that can be even harder.
Time to Talk Day 2022 is on the 3rd of February. It’s run by Rethink Mental Illness and Mind, and it’s a chance for organisations to think about their approaches to mental health, and how to encourage everyone to feel comfortable and safe talking about their mental wellbeing.
So, what might talking about mental health look like at your organisation? Maybe there are some staff members with lived experience of poor mental health who might be willing to share their stories. You might like to take a look at your processes, to make sure everyone is getting the chance to build healthy, trusting working relationships. Perhaps you, or someone you know, isn’t quite ready to talk about their mental health, but might appreciate just knowing there are people around. Or, you might want to focus on how to become a good listener – to know how to respond if someone tells you they aren’t okay, or might need some extra support.
We’ve collected together some of the best resources on our site for getting people talking. Whether it’s advice on how to start the conversation yourself, how to react if someone discloses to you, or just ways to improve the way your organisation talks about mental wellbeing, we hope they’ll be useful for you.
Resources in this toolkit:
Wellbeing conversation mat
This mat is designed to open up a discussion about wellbeing within a team, focused on the five pillars of the PERMA wellbeing model. It helps to explore the model and offers an immediate 'pulse check' to help decide what to do next.
Not all managers feel confident and comfortable talking about mental health. But it’s important that you do, and the information in this guide should help you.
Excessive pressure and demands at work can cause stress. HSE's Talking Toolkit helps you to have a series of conversations with workers to identify and help prevent work-related stress.
While many organisations are working hard to break the stigmas around mental health, disclosing your own concerns can make you feel vulnerable. This guide from Nuffield Health can help you to plan who to speak to, what to say, and how to progress.
This is Me
This is Me is a business-led campaign to support organisations, and their employees, to talk about mental health. It encourages people with experience of a mental health problem, whether their own or of a loved one, to share their stories.
Mental Health at Work have created a YouTube playlist featuring five BBC videos which focus on people who experience mental health conditions, including tips on which questions might not be appropriate for you to ask.