Time to Talk Day – Tips for starting a conversation

February 1st is an opportunity to take part in the nation’s biggest mental health conversation, Time to Talk Day. This year’s theme is encouraging people to talk about how they feel, which some can find awkward or difficult.

The standard answer to being asked “How are you” is “I’m fine”. But is that really the case? Now is the time to break down barriers and have conversations about our Mental Health.

Mind, the charity behind Time to Talk provides 5 tips to get the conversation going:

  1. Ask questions and listen. Allow the person you’re talking to a moment to collect their thoughts and contribute to the conversation when they are ready. Try to ask open questions (ones where more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer is needed) this allows them to open up further and express how they are feeling.
  2. Think about the time and place. Choose a familiar environment to talk in, somewhere you are not likely to be disturbed or overheard. Instead of facing head-on, consider sitting or standing side by side and doing something else while talking like walking or getting stuck into a hobby.
  3. Don’t try and fix it. It can be tempting to start suggesting solutions. Try to avoid this, instead, listen patiently and let the other person talk things through.
  4. Treat them the same. Just because someone is experiencing an issue with their Mental Health doesn’t mean they’ve changed. Treat them with the same respect and kindness you would during any other day and offer practical help if requested.
  5. Be patient. Not everyone will be ready to open up about how they are feeling and that’s ok. Allowing them to talk to you demonstrates you’ll be there to listen if or when they feel ready to talk.

We understand that life can sometimes be stressful. Because everyone’s well-being matters at Stiltz all employees have access to confidential support and resources to help them thrive:

  • The BHSF app provides access to GPs and medical specialists. This includes counselling services for emotional support, health, fitness and lifestyle guidance.
  • There are now a number of trained Mental Health First Aiders across all business locations and in the field. They are available to listen during business hours should they need to talk or look for advice on where to get further support.

Tara Lochery

Tara Lochery, Group People Director at Stiltz, shared “Stiltz encourages teams to talk about Mental Health and well-being so it’s good to see colleagues joining the conversation. Together, recognising a national day like Time to Talk Day will help us all challenge the stigma around Mental Health.”

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