time to Talk - 1st February 2024

Time to Talk Day is an annual awareness day held at the beginning of February. It’s a day for us all to start a conversation about mental health. Talking about mental health isn't easy. But a conversation has the power to change lives. Time to Talk Day is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, in partnership with the Co-op.

Tips for talking
There's no right or wrong way to talk about mental health. But these tips can help make sure you’re approaching the conversation in a helpful way.

Ask questions and listen
Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through. And it can help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental. For example, “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?”

Think about the time and place
Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. If you do talk in person, you might want to chat while doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. But don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!

Don't try and fix it
It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time. 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. They’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.

Treat them the same
When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before. When a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want you to treat them any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.

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 may make it easier for them to open up another time