Talking about mental health isn’t always easy, and sometimes it’s even harder to say how you really feel. But a conversation can change lives, and Time to Talk Day is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation about mental health.

Time to Talk Day was launched in 2014 by Time to Change, a campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination, which was run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Simply, the more conversations we have, the better life is for everyone. Approximately 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. And the cost of living crisis is only making it harder to look after our mental health — the poorest fifth of the population are twice as likely to develop a mental health problem. Sometimes, it’s easier to tell people we’re ‘fine’ than to say how we really feel.

Open up the conversation

Recent research from the charity Mind shows how important open conversations in communities are to support everyone’s mental well-being. Talking about mental health reduces stigma, helping to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it.

There is no right way to talk about mental health, but the following tips can help make sure you approach it in a helpful way:

1. Ask questions and listen

Asking questions can give the person space to express their feelings and what they’re going through, helping you better understand their experience. Try to ask open questions that are not leading or judgmental. For instance, "How does that affect you?" or "What does it feel like?"

2. Think about the time and place

Sometimes, it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face, so if you talk in person, you might want to chat while doing something else. For example, you could start a conversation while walking, making coffee, or in traffic. However, don't let the search for the perfect place put you off.

3. Don’t try to fix it

It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time, but 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, and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Listening can be powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best to just listen.

4. Treat them the same 

When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before. That means that when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple and do what you normally do.

5. Be patient

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s okay. The fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.

If you're looking for a Time To Talk Day speaker or mental health expert, PepTalk has a wealth of knowledge. Drop PepTalk an email at and we'll be able to help you find the perfect speaker for your business!

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