It’s no secret that conversations about mental health can be a little difficult. It can be especially hard to reach out to others for guidance when we’re stressed out or just in need of a pep talk.
On February 3rd, Time to Talk Day allows us to change the narrative when it comes to having these tough discussions about how we’re feeling. Take a look at some ways you can encourage healthy conversations and support those around you.
How to Encourage Healthy Conversations
Starting the conversation about mental health can seem intimidating, especially when it involves our loved ones. Many times people want to reach out to their loved ones who are struggling but are afraid of overstepping their boundaries. On the other hand, it can also be uncomfortable for you to reach out for help for fear that you won’t be understood.
Below, we’ve listed a few tips to help you have better conversations about your mental health.
Listen to Others: Allow the person who is reaching out to you to finish their thoughts before offering advice. Once they have finished talking, feel free to offer your support in a way you deem appropriate.
However, you should not assume that the person who reached out is asking for advice. Sometimes, all a person needs is someone to validate their feelings. So it’s best to let them ask you for advice if they need it.
Avoid Judgment: Let’s face it–this conversation may be a little awkward for both individuals but passing judgment will not help the situation. Avoid telling your friends and loved ones that their feelings are ‘weird’ or ‘crazy’ as it could make them feel worse.
It’s also best to stay away from statements that invalidate their feelings such as, “you’re just having a bad day” or “It could be worse.” Instead, try focusing on the other person’s needs and let them know you’re there to support them.
Share Resources to Offer Support: It is impossible to understand what your friends and family are going through all the time. Try your best to gather as much information on what you’ve been told and do some research to help you understand what they may be struggling with.
If you are still having trouble understanding, you may not be able to provide the help your friend needs, and that’s okay too! You can always try sharing resources with your friends or family that provide them with better support. Just be sure that the resources you share are from reliable and trusted sources.
If you or someone you know is having trouble processing their emotions, consider reaching out to the Bayless team. At Bayless, our team focuses on integration or whole-person health. Our unique services include primary care, behavioral health, individual therapy and group therapy, addiction medicine, psychiatry medicine, and wellness.
You can call Bayless Integrated Healthcare at 602-777-6337 if you are interested in a free, 15-minute wellness consultation. You can also click here to make an appointment online. If you are experiencing a crisis, please call 911 immediately.