It is understandable that people may be experiencing increased levels of fear, worry and stress due to the current challenging times and at times like these open conversations about mental health are more important than ever. It is important to try and stay connected and check in with one another through phone calls or video chats, this can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely or isolated.
According to The Health Foundation, more than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect Covid-19 is having on their lives. The impact of Covid-19 have led to increased levels of anxiety, depression and loneliness among us, people reporting having sleeping problems has increased from 16% before the pandemic to 25% in April 2020.
This year for Time to Talk Day we would like to encourage trying to have a conversation whether with colleagues or family members. Talking about mental health can be challenging, but starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward, remember it is about being there for someone. In order to help and encourage the conversation we have attached a Sussed games Chatterbox cards (see can other guess you answer)
Starting a conversation about mental health has a power to make a difference and the more conversations we have, the more barriers we can break. Many people still are hesitant when it comes to starting a conversation with a workmate fearing it could make things worse, affect their working relationship or not wanting to get involved. If you are concerned about someone, approach them and start a conversation, sometimes a simple “Are you Ok?” can make a difference. Listen without judgement, try to understand their situation, encourage them to seek support and remember to check in and see how they doing in a few days’ time.
Spotting the signs someone might be struggling:
- Feeling restless and agitated
- Feeling tearful
- Not wanting to talk or be with people
- Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
- Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
- Not replying to messages or being distant
- Difficulty to control emotions
- Changes in eating or sleeping
- Recent inability to concentrate on work or meeting
- Recent inability to complete any of their work
- Their work just doesn’t appear to be the same standard
Starting a conversation:
- Ask questions and listen. Try asking questions that are open and mot leading or judgemental, such as “how does that affect you” or “what does it feel like?”
- Consider the time & place. Sometimes it’s is easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. When talking to a person you might want to try and have a chat whilst doing something else e.g. making tea/coffee in a break room or going for a walk.
- Don’t try and fix everything. Try and resist offering quick fixes. You don’t have to be an expert, just being there and listening is enough.
- Be patient. Remember, not everyone is ready to talk about what they are going through. The fact that you tried to talk may make it easier for them to open up another time.
There are lots of ways to show you are there to support them such as doing things together, sending a text to let them know you are thinking of them or offering help with day-to-day tasks.
Have courage and don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t feel you have to fill a silence.
Mental health quiz: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-quiz
NHS. Depression and anxiety self-assessment quiz: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mood-self-assessment/
Time to Change. Time to Talk Day 2021– https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day
Mental health help & support services: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support
Mind. Coronavirus and your mental health– https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/
Mates in Mind– https://www.matesinmind.org/