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.

Remember

  • Be patient and understanding throughout the conversation.
  • Take what they say seriously and offer your support accordingly.