We can change the way people around us think and act about mental health every day. You don’t need to wait for other people to talk about mental health – you can bring it into the conversation yourself. This can help people around you to open up to mental health by seeing it as an everyday topic that’s OK to talk about.
Here are some ways to get the conversation started:
- Speak about your own experience – bring up parts of your experience naturally in conversation e.g. if someone is talking about the weather you could mention how the weather affects your mental health.
- Try not to hide things as often – if someone is talking about something that reminds you of part of your mental health story, but you don’t mention it, think about whether you could try say something about it anyway. Be careful to only say what you feel safe to.
- Talk about being a Time to Change Champion – a great way to bring mental health into the conversation is to mention that you are a Time to Change Champion e.g. if someone asks what you did at the weekend, you could say you read the Time to Change website and that you are a Champion. This might help you to mention something about your experience of mental health problems.
- Be honest about your feelings – if you're struggling, think about whether you would feel OK to tell people about it. This could help mental health to become a normal part of the conversation. Make sure you only do this if it feels OK for you with the person you’re talking to and don't make yourself vulnerable.