Don’t stay silent this Time to Talk Day

Today (1st February) is Time to Talk Day – a day when we are all encouraged to have a conversation about mental health.

Mental health problems can often leave us feeling isolated and ashamed, and certain stigmas that still exist around mental health can mean opening up is a daunting task. This Time to Talk Day, we want anyone who feels like they are alone to know that support and help is available.

Talk to a friend about your mental health

Telling our friends or family that we are struggling with mental health is never easy, however the more honest and open we are, the easier it becomes to cope. Friendship can play a key role in recovery and improved mental wellbeing, and many people find talking is a key part of tackling mental health problems.

Pick someone you can trust and choose a place you feel comfortable to have the conversation. Talking to close friends can be important for both of you, as it lightens your load and also helps them to understand why you may have been acting differently.

Talk to a professional about your mental health

Did you know there are five Safe Havens across Surrey and north east Hants that offer a friendly environment if you are experiencing a mental health crisis to have an informal chat with a professional? Here you will be able to open up in a safe place without needing to prebook an appointment or phone ahead.

Full information about opening times and locations can be found at www.sabp.nhs.uk/safehaven

For 10-18 year olds, we run the CYP Haven in Guildford. Similarly to our Safe Havens, this is a safe space where you can talk about worries and mental health in a confidential, friendly and supportive environment. We will be opening a CYP Haven in Staines in February and Epsom in March. Visit https://www.cyphaven.net/ for full details and opening times.

Please speak to you GP if you are worried about your mental health and don’t have anyone to talk to.

Talk to a friend about their mental health

Organisation Time to Change have provided the following handy tips for talking to a friend or family member if you are worried about their mental health:

1. Start small

Many people find talking in person intimidating, and that’s understandable. But it doesn’t need to stop you from starting a conversation altogether. You could make a quick phone call, send your best mate a text, or leave a note for a parent.

2. Find a good time & place

Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else.

3. Ask questions (gently!)

There are lots of misconceptions around mental illness. That means asking questions can be an important way of learning. Just remember not to get too personal, and be aware if the discussion is making someone feel uncomfortable.

4. Be open

Being open and honest with others can help to build trust. For example, you might choose to tell your friend something about you that they may not know. Just remember, don’t feel pressure to share anything that you are not comfortable with.

5. Treat them the same

When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, they’re still the same person as 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. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you'd normally do.

To learn more about Time to Change and Time to Talk Day, visit the Time to Change website.

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day-2018/