Small Talks can make a Big Difference.

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.

To experience positive conversations on mental health, remember to TALK – 

Take the time

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
Ask twice

“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
Learn to listen

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 
Keep it up

Don’t stop with one chat. Remember to continue checking in to see how those closest to you are doing.  

  • If someone said that they were not feeling great, be sure to check in again with them soon
  • If people said that they were doing well, there’s no need to leave it there. Mental health can change, so make check-ins a regular part of your chats
Tea Talks

10 October - World Mental Health Day

15-minute Tea Talk

This October, for World Mental Health Day, we ask people to take 15 minutes out of their day for a Tea Talk with a friend, colleague or family member.  

We want to encourage people to take the time to talk to others about how they are doing. Allowing space for this and asking people will enable people the opportunity to open up and share when they might be struggling. 

It’s time for us all to start having these Small Talks to make a Big Difference.  

You can look out for one of our Tea Talks packs at your local YMCA or stick the kettle on and use the card below to see how you can have positive conversations on Mental Health. 

Some top tips for speaking to someone about mental health –  

  • Make sure you are somewhere you feel most comfortable
  • Ask open questions – “how have you been feeling?” 
  • If they say they’re fine at the moment – check how they’re doing at other times 
  • Don’t feel the need to come up with answers. Listening itself can be enough 
  • If you’re comfortable doing so, you could share your personal experiences – but remember everyone’s situation is different  
  • Let them know you’re there if they need to talk again 
Further support

Are you okay?

If someone's really struggling, try pointing them in the direction where they can get help.

There is loads of information available online and we have scoured far and wide to offer you a collection of helpful videos and apps that can be found on our Changing Minds website. 

To seek professional help you can call 111 or visit the NHS website.