how to talk about your mental health.

Sometimes our emotions can creep upon us, and we feel unable to process, understand and get through them on our own. It's essential that you reach out to the people around you for support in times where you feel vulnerable.


Opening up about your mental health is easier said than done, especially if the subject has never been broached before. We have come up with some simple steps to make starting the conversation easier.

pick a medium.

Having a direct face-to-face conversation about a sensitive and emotive issue isn't everyone's cup of tea. Instead, draft a text or write a letter; that way, you can read it over and ensure it makes sense. It may be advantageous for you to see your thoughts on screen or paper. You can then choose when to send it on your own time.

find the right time.

Being in the right headspace is important if you're going to be unloading your thoughts to someone - remember they don't know what's going on inside your head. Calm yourself before starting the discussion, take some deep breaths and take your time.


go to a comforting environment.

Talk to someone in a safe and calm place, where you feel comfortable speaking openly, without the risk of being listened in or too shy to fully open up. This could be in your own home or on the top of a mountain, wherever is right for you.


practice.

If you are meeting face-to-face, it may be best to have a plan of what you're going to say to avoid waffling or not getting your point across. It may be an overwhelming conversation, which may suppress what you aim to say. Even if you make bullet points, you can refer to them to prompt yourself.

pick someone you trust.

Make sure the person you're confiding in knows you well and has your best interests at heart. You are entrusting this person with your inner feelings; you need to be sure they will listen and keep the conversation to themselves. You also need to be comfortable with the person to enable the conversation to reach certain depths.


what do you want?

Make sure you know what you want from the conversation before having it. Do you just want a listening ear, advice or a shoulder to cry on? Make sure you end the conversation feeling better than you did going into it.

If talking to a close friend or family member didn't help like you thought it would, you can visit these resources to speak to a professional.

  • Samaritans. You can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email jo@samaritans.org or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).

  • SANEline. If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).

  • The Mix. If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.

  • Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email pat@papyrus-uk.org or text 07786 209 697.

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) or use their webchat service.

  • Nightline. If you're a student, you can look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.

  • Switchboard. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email chris@switchboard.lgbt or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.

  • C.A.L.L. If you live in Wales, you can call the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.) on 0800 132 737 (open 24/7), or text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.

  • Helplines Partnership. For more options, visit the Helplines Partnership website for a directory of UK helplines. Mind's Infoline can also help you find services that can support you. If you're outside the UK, the Befrienders Worldwide website has a tool to search by country for emotional support helplines around the world.


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