World Mental Health day 2019

It’s #WorldMentalHealthday.

Today is an opportunity for all of us to talk openly about our Mental Health as this is one of the many ways we can reduce the stigma.

This year’s theme is suicide and suicide prevention.

Did you know, every year nearly 800,000 people globally take their own life. It’s the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 in the UK.

Asking how someone is feeling mentally in a clam, relaxed manner could be the opportunity a colleague, friend or family member has been waiting for, ask once and ask again as we often say we’re fine when we’re not.

So how do we make those conversations easier? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Take it seriously – don’t laugh or treat it like a joke, it will have taken courage to make the disclosure
  • Listen and reflect – listening alone will make a significant difference but be sure to let the person know you are actively listening by repeating some of the things you have heard back to them
  • Ask questions – don’t be afraid to ask questions, simple things like “What does it feel like”? “When do you have those types of thoughts”? “What can I do to help”?
  • Don’t try and fix it – it’ not your job to make the mental health problem go away. Its far more helpful to listen, ask questions and carry on doing the things you would normally do together
  • Build your knowledge – it might be helpful to know what professional support is available so you can sign post effectively, if a specific diagnosis is mentioned, you might also want to learn a little bit more about it so you can understand what they’re going through