Does the topic of mental health feel daunting?
If you haven’t spoken about mental health in your family, you’re not alone. But conversations about it can come in many forms.
It’s worth bearing in mind that:
- Simply showing you would be happy to talk is significant
- Short, informal chats can make a big difference – whenever and wherever they happen
- There are lots of places you can find out more about mental health
Why talk about mental health?
One in four of us experiences mental health problems every year, and one in ten young people will experience a mental health problem before the age of 16. So you’re likely to know people who are going through the experience right now.
Talking about mental health breaks down the taboos surrounding it. The more open we are, the more we enable young people to look after their own mental health, reduce the stigma around asking for help, and help them to support their peers.
Hear what other parents say about talking mental health:
Will I not make things worse by talking?
Being open about mental health will almost always help.
Day to day, talking about mental health breaks down the taboo around the topic.
And if you’re worried about your son or daughter, simply opening up the lines of conversation can really help (in the same way you might talk about other issues). Above all, they will know that if they are worried about their own mental health – or the mental health of someone they know – they can come and talk to you about it and you’ll be there to support them.
No conversation has to be perfect.
What do I need to know?
You don’t need to be an expert to talk about mental health. Being open to talking about it, and showing you care, will mean a lot.
Find out how talking and listening helps.