POST SEVEN: #TimeToTalk Day in collaboration with Time To Change | Ad


This year, Time to Change (TTC) will be working in partnership, with I’m NOT Disordered on a exclusive series of projects for Time To Talk Day (TTD) on February 2nd. 

Questions completed by Alexandria Readman, Mental Health Blogger & Time To Change Champion 
Photography: R J Photography

Can you tell us about the worst (least helpful, most upsetting, anger-provoking etc) talk you’ve had with another person regarding mental health?

First of all I’d like to make it clear that although not every conversation we have about mental health will go smoothly, every time you talk about mental health openly you are helping to break down the stigma that surrounds it. However, we still a long way to go, and along the way inevitably we will encounter a few unhelpful and infuriatingly close-minded attitudes towards mental illnesses. Here are three of the most unhelpful things people have actually said to me regarding my mental health.

1. “A lot of people your age feel this way – it may just be hormones” –  A GP.
2. “You honestly don’t look like there is anything wrong with you!” – A former employer.
3. “But I don’t understand why you have depression.” – A close friend. X

Can you tell us about the greatest (most positive, beneficial, encouraging, supportive etc) talk you’ve had with another person regarding mental health?

Here are three of the greatest things people have ever said to me when I have opened up about my mental health.
1. “I wish I could make everything better”
2. “I’m here whenever you need to talk”
3. “I know it’s hard to see right now, but things will get better” 
I believe that the most powerful thing you can do when talking about mental health is to ask someone how they are and mean it. Although people might not always feel like taking about mental health, just knowing someone cares can make a huge difference. The more conversations we have about mental health the more comfortable our loved ones will feel to open up when they are ready to do so. Asking “how are you?” has so much more importance  than many people realise. It is not just a greeting, or a way to find out how a person is feeling - but it is a way of letting someone know that they are not alone.

Finally, list three reasons why you think people should talk about mental health:

1. The more we talk about mental health, the less we will regard it as a taboo subject and the less scary it will seem. 

2. The more we talk the more people will feel confident in seeking help for their problems at earlier stages. This has the potential to prevent more mental illnesses from escalating to become a major risk to people’s mental and physical wellbeing and could save lives.

3. By gently opening up conversations about mental health we will eventually expel the myths and misconceptions that surround mental illnesses. If me all make a pledge to talk about mental health openly together we can stop the stigma!

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