Talking to Others About Mental Health
Physically talking to another person about your mental health sounds pretty simple, right? Well for some, that just isn’t the case, and it can be much more difficult than it seems to initiate that conversation. There are no set rules of how to do it, but just remember that you matter and it’s okay to not be okay.
This is clearly a significant topic, so think about where and when the conversation should take place. The time should be right and location should be somewhere where you are completely comfortable. During the conversation, you can say as little or as much as you would like – this is completely up to you. Remember that no one can force you to say anything you don’t want to.
You may be asked questions, so only answer them if you feel okay to do so. Questions will help the other person understand what you’re going through and it could even help you to express yourself a bit more. Do make sure you prepare yourself for any questions. For example, you could present leaflets or useful web links which contain information that could provide answers to any possible queries. You could even think of possible questions which you may be asked beforehand, especially if you know the person really well, but make sure you don’t overthink! I cannot stress that enough.
It’s important to not bottle things up as running away from the problem will not solve anything and only result in you hurting yourself. If you find it hard to find the right words to speak out loud, why not write a letter? Address it to whoever you would like to read it, and write whatever comes to mind and feels right in your heart. If you don’t want them to respond to anything you’ve written in the letter, make that clear. They are likely to understand and show you an endless amount of support and encouragement, especially if it’s someone close to you who genuinely cares about your health. It’s crucial to have support to boost your morale and allow you to see the bigger picture when you feel like you’re unable to.
You might find that you actually feel empowered and liberated after talking about your mental health. That’s good! Use that to help yourself feel better and to also uplift others who may be experiencing something similar. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so it’s important to raise awareness. Something I live by and always tell myself when I’m feeling down is that it’s okay to not be okay. It really is. You’re never alone and it’s absolutely fine to speak up and seek help.