Sometimes all it takes is asking someone if they are okay.
When it comes to mental health, it can often be difficult to know how someone is feeling and as a result people may continue to suffer alone without knowledge of the support available to them. But pehaps if a 'safe space' can be provided for people to feel comfortable someone who may be struggling, then a conversation about support can be started.
So this week, as a build up to Time to Talk Day 2 February 2023, why not really make an effort in planning to reaching out to the people around you and checking in with them to see how they are doing. Not only could this be a good support system for them, but it could also be beneficial to yourself as you can also talk about how you are feeling!
Talking about your mental health should never be someone thing you are ashamed of. Sometimes we are not okay and that is okay. When talking to someone about mental health, try and keep the following in mind:
Listen to them, sometimes it can be better to just listen to what is being said instead of offering advice. But if they ask for advice that is fine!
Staying calm. Whilst it is completely understandable to become upset upon hearing someone you are caring about may be struggling, if you stay calm it can help them to feel calm too. Whereas becoming upset could cause them to become more upset.
Being patient, it’s important that you try not to rush them and instead help to feel comfortable expressing themselves and that they do so when they feel ready to.
Reassure them by letting them know you are here for them. This can help them be less likely to feel alone.
Explore your own wellbeing - you are far more likely to be helpful if you are not stressed your self.
It is also important to remember that whilst talking may be a good thing to do, you can never force someone to talk about something. Just letting them know if they want to talk, that you are there for them will be enough. Forcing them to talk about something when they are not ready will just make them less likely to reach out in the future.
Whilst talking is often a great option to see how people are doing, it can also be good to be aware of the signs that someone may be struggling…
- Becoming more reserved or isolated
- Turning up late or unprepared for things, or cancelling
- Taking less interest in the things they use to enjoy
- They may be in a lower mood than normal
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
These are just a few things to take notice of but everyone’s experience with mental health can be different so these will not be the case for everyone!
At Burton and District Mind we are always here to do what we can to offer essential support to anyone who may be struggling with their mental health. You can find more information on the services we have available through our website and social media
Please reach out, or if you know someone who is struggling and could do with some support tell them who we are. We will help.