This year, 1st February marks ‘Time to Talk Day’ – an annual awareness day organised by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness (in partnership with the Co-op) – that focuses on the importance of starting conversations about mental health.
Talking about mental health isn’t always the easiest subject to tackle. However, normalising the conversation and encouraging people to open up can help individuals realise they aren’t alone, and also has the potential to change lives.
From one-to-one catch ups and company ‘tea and talk’ sessions to mental health first aiders and private healthcare, there are several ways organisations can support colleagues, providing a safe space to share how they are feeling, and if needed, access professional help.
It doesn’t always have to be about hosting extravagant events and marking the moment in the calendar – it’s often the small daily gestures that make all the difference. Whether it’s a text to a friend, checking in on a colleague or asking how someone is, and asking them again. Every conversation matters and being a listening ear is often enough for someone.
Here at PLMR, we spoke with a few colleagues across the Group about why talking about mental health is so important, what their top tips are for reaching out to friends, family and colleagues and what brings them joy in their lives. Here’s what they had to say…
The Mind website has some helpful tips for approaching conversations around mental health, including the power of listening and asking questions, thinking about the environment you’re having conversations in, being patient and not treating anyone differently for opening up.
Whatever your day brings, challenge yourself to reach out to a friend or colleague, check in on a loved one or do something that sparks a conversation about mental health. It’s time for everyone to be more open about mental health and normalise the conversation.