#Timetotalk Day – Mentally Healthy Conversations

Changing conversations about mental health

Today is #Timetotalk day and we wanted to make today’s conversation about mental health.

We all have physical health and we all have mental health, but so often we find it easier to talk about our physical health compared with our mental health.

Last week I attended a EH4MH workshop at my children’s school designed to open up the conversations we have within families about mental health.  It included simple, practical advice about how to normalise the conversation, as well as insights into the power of adopting a growth rather than fixed mindset.  We explored the teenage brain, sleep patterns, and I came away with masses of valuable strategies to share, including ‘10 a day choices towards balancing our mental health’.

However, it was the last 5 minutes of the workshop that struck a deep chord.

“It’s not about the nail!”

We were shown this video with a parting invitation to become more aware, to take notice, and to listen to those around us.  Sometimes doing small things can make a big difference, and just being heard is enough.

I witnessed this in buckets yesterday when I visited my dear mother in hospital.  The comings and goings of medical staff, family and friends, all having different conversations with patients, each one coping in their own unique way with their health challenges.  For some I could see how talking brought comfort and how having the opportunity to share their stories with someone who truly listened, created fabulous moments of laughter and connection.  For others, the simple act of having someone sitting alongside and saying ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ was enough.

As human beings we all have different struggles at different times, sometimes physically, and sometimes mentally.  We talk about physical health.  Let’s talk about mental health.  The sheer experience of just talking can often help strengthen our capacity to respond to life’s up’s and down’s whether that’s in our roles as parents, partners, sons, daughters, colleagues or friends.

In our work at TCS, we are passionate about the power of conversations, and how a single conversation can make a lasting impact.  We were surprised to read the recent research from Accenture highlighting how more employees are willing to speak about their own mental health at work, but only one in five (20%) report an improvement in workplace training to help manage their own mental health or to help them support colleagues dealing with mental health challenges (19%).

Speak Your Mind

Given this workplace context and our aim to create change in organisations through conversation, we are really excited to be running “Speak Your Mind” – a one day workshop giving people the skills and confidence to have more meaningful conversations about mental health.

It’s being run by mental health first aider/coach-facilitator Sarah Rudder and will be packed full of excellent advice, activities, support, time to explore and have a go at these conversations… all in the wonderful Wallacespace.

Come and join us.

We want more people to be able to go to work and show up as their whole selves.  We want more organisations to change the way they have conversations about mental health.

By Sara Hope