Unlike physical health challenges – like scrapes and cuts or the flu – mental illness often remains unseen. And because we can’t always see mental health challenges, it’s important that we feel comfortable having conversations about them.
Talking about mental health can be difficult and awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. Nor do you need to be an expert to engage in conversations about mental health. Just a few small words – like asking someone how they’re feeling – can make a huge difference. Whether someone is ready to have that conversation with you or not, most people will appreciate your care and support in trying to start the conversation in the first place.
If you’re not exactly sure where to begin, here are a few helpful conversation starters to break the ice around a loved ones’ mental health:
No matter the path this conversation takes, be prepared to walk it with whomever you’re reaching out to. We want everyone to feel confident to begin a conversation about mental health, sustain that conversation and direct people to the help they may need – whether that’s professional help or just a non-judgmental listening ear.
When we know what to say and what to do, we can #BeTheDifference for someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. Take a Mental Health First Aid course today to #BeTheDifference in the lives of your loved ones and support those who may need it most.