Lets have a yarn

Let's be real, no one enjoys office small talk. Wouldn't it be nice to get to know each other a little bit more and talk about things that really matter? We aren't saying you need to dive deep into your colleagues soul and fix all their worries, but having a proper yarn sure goes a long way.

Most of our time is spent at work, so it's unrealistic that we can expect to ignore our mental health when we are working. May the socks be a reminder to take one step at a time and whatever you are going through, you can get through this.

Voices of Hope X Swanky Socks

These conversation starter cards are designed to encourage open and caring discussions about mental health in the workplace. Each card contains a prompt or question aimed to encourage meaningful conversation. Let's talk and listen to one another with empathy and understanding.

Why It Matters:
Mental health affects all of us, and it's crucial to create a workplace environment where we can openly discuss our well-being.

Share the Kit:
Share these conversation starter cards with friends, family, or anyone you care about. By spreading awareness and understanding, we can collectively make a positive impact on mental health awareness.

Support is Available:
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Our website provides valuable resources and helplines that can offer assistance. Remember, reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Let's Have a Yarn Together:
During Mental Health Awareness Week, let's come together. By engaging in these discussions, we can create a safe space for everyone to express their feelings, concerns, and experiences. This is a chance to listen, learn, and extend a helping hand to those who might need it.

Share your experiences and stories on social media using our campaign hashtag to spread awareness and encourage others to join the conversation.

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.

How To Tell Your Lived Experience Story Safely

MHAW can be an inspiring time to share kōrero about your lived experience to inspire others in a similar situation to find a way through and challenge the negative judgements and discrimination those of us with mental health challenges can face. But, sharing your story is also an important personal decision, and one that should be well thought through. Download this MHAW resource for a few pointers on what to prepare before, during and after sharing it, along with some best-practice resources and safety aspects to consider.

How To Tell Your Lived Experience Story Safely

Conversation Starters

Feel free to share these cards with friends, family, or anyone you care about. By spreading the conversation, we can create a ripple effect of support and understanding.

Download for free here