How to have a conversation about mental health?
Make talking about wellbeing an everyday thing
- Encourage open discussions about mental health regularly to reduce stigma and make it a normal topic of conversation.
Understand what is supportive
- Listen non-judgmentally and try to see the issue from the person's perspective.
- Be empathetic, approachable, and willing to listen without imposing your solutions or judgments.
Before you approach the person, ask yourself
- Am I in a good headspace to have this conversation?
- Am I genuinely willing to listen without judgment?
- Can I give as much time as needed for the conversation?
Where and when to have the conversation
- Choose an informal setting to make the person feel comfortable.
- Ask when would be a good time for them to chat. If they can't talk immediately, schedule a better time later.
- Opt for a quiet and private location to ensure confidentiality.
- Assure them that whatever they share will remain confidential.
Ways to start the conversation
- Be relaxed and supportive, making the person feel at ease.
- Use open-ended questions to help them open up.
What if the person doesn't want to talk
- Respect their choice if they are not ready to open up.
- Leave the door open for further dialogue and let them know you're there to listen whenever they feel comfortable.
What can you do to help?
- Be patient and avoid rushing or interrupting the conversation. Give them time to process their thoughts.
- Listen non-judgmentally and see things from their perspective.
- Be patient and understanding throughout the conversation.
- Take what they say seriously and offer your support accordingly.