Mental health, like physical health, is something that we all have and yet speaking openly about mental health is not always easy.
While, as a society, we may be getting more aware of these struggles, most people still find it awkward to talk openly about mental health face-to-face.
However, small chats with your friends, colleagues, and family members can go a long way to make sure you have a place to talk honestly about your feelings.
Small Talks is solely about taking the time to have these conversations and ensuring that we all make ourselves available to listen. With a few simple guides, we can all positively impact the mental health of those around us.
In your day-to-day chats, check in with those around you and make an effort to ask people how they are doing.
- Try and make sure you are somewhere you feel comfortable – this could be at home or going for a walk
- Try asking people how they’re doing every time you get to talk and catch up properly
- If you’re concerned about someone, then be sure to find time to ask them how they’re doing
“I’m fine” can be an instant response when people ask how we’re doing. Asking a second time can lead to a more honest and open response.
- As well as asking “how are you doing?” as a natural conversation opener, try following with, “how have you been feeling?”
- Opening up can be daunting, so be patient and allow them to do so
Allow people the time needed to talk about their feeling. It may not come all at once, but make sure you’re letting them say what they need to.
- We all like to respond to what people tell us, but it is crucial to make sure we’re not cutting people off when they’re trying to open up
- Continue asking questions that invite people to share more
- Ask if there is anything you can do to help
Don’t stop with one chat. Remember to continue checking in to see how those closest to you are doing.