#ShareSpeakStop - Start Talking

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

It's World Mental Health Day this Saturday, so as I said in my previous post I have decided to do a week full of posts dedicated to mental health, well-being and positivity. I did a similar thing last year and you can view all of the posts I wrote over on my mental health page. I hope that by writing these posts it will create more awareness, less stigma and happier people! #ShareSpeakStop

Yesterday I spoke about 3 things that you should do if you think you might be experiencing a mental health problem. Today I'm going to talk to you about the power of talking, more specifically 4 things that you could do to start that vital conversation! 

1. Start off light  
When you're talking to someone with mental health issues, there's not always a need to go in with the deep and sometimes overwhelming conversations. Sometimes a simple 'Hello, how's your day been?' will suffice and from there can lead onto other conversations. A lot of the time all someone really needs, is to know that someone cares and is willing to listen to them.

2. Keep it Simple 
Sometimes, when you approach someone with a mental health problem, they may be defensive, they feel vulnerable and don't always want to fully disclose their issues - even if you are a family member or friend (not always but sometimes). Which is why sometimes, it is important to keep initial conversations simple, to help the person feel more comfortable to talk about their feelings. Similar to the above point - a simple 'What have you been up to lately?' What's been going on in your life?' is usually a good place to start. These kind of questions are open and therefore encourage the person to talk more, which can sometimes lead on to further more important points that they may want to discuss!

3. Listen
Listening is so important when you're talking to someone with mental health issues. A lot of the time, all they really want is someone to listen to them. I know that when I was going through a hard time last year, even though I bottled things up a lot, I just really craved for someone to just listen to me and all the things that I had to say - I didn't even care if they didn't have any input, I just wanted to talk to someone!

4. Don't Rush
It could be that in having a conversation with someone, they confide in you regarding a situation that is quite serious or makes them a risk to themselves. In this case try not to bombard them with more questions or panic as they could be in a vulnerable state that might make them scared or defensive. It's important to continue to listen to them and work with them to come up with a solution or the next plan of action!

This is merely a guide and is not always the way that it should work if you choose to have a conversation with someone who may or may not have a mental health illness. But these tips are some of the best ways to make someone who may be feeling vulnerable and defensive a lot more comfortable, trusting and ready to talk and open up about what they are feeling! I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if you enjoyed it, don't forget to share it using the hashtag #ShareSpeakStop and let's get talking about mental health! :)

Did you enjoy this post? Which tip would you find most useful?

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  1. this is so important. so great that you would speak on such an important topic. xx Lita

    1. Yes I think it's so important to speak out about important issues, especially one I'm so passionate about! Thank you Lita!

      Heather Xx

  2. This is such an incredibly important subject and I'm so pleased you're raising awareness for it lovely. I have people very close to me with mental health issues and I totally agree with these points. Starting off slow, just listening and not pushing it too far is exactly the advice I'd give!


    1. Thank you so much Elle, I'm glad you agree! It's so important and sometimes people forget that some people with mental health are quite defensive and vulnerable so listening is key! :)

      Heather Xx


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