Time to Talk Day 2023: How to Get Talking and Tips for Listening

Check your watch beans because it’s time for Time to Talk Day (sorry, not sorry) 2nd February, 2023 is officially the day to have a good ol’ natter about anything that’s on your mind. If you’re not clued up on your mental health awareness days (I mean, there are many of them nowadays) then let me explain.

Time to Talk Day is an awareness day in the UK run by mental health charities, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and is sponsored by Co-op (yes, your favourite ‘meal deal’ dealers, if you know, you know).

The purpose of the day is to… well… do what it says on the tin, get people talking. But it’s more than talking, it’s also about listening too. Here the charities share their top tips for starting these types of conversations.

Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face.

Ask questions and listen

Credit: Mind/Rethink Mental Illness

Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental, like “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?”

Read More: Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency – How Will This Get Men Talking?

Think about the time and place

Credit: Mind/Rethink Mental Illness

Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. However, don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!

Don’t try and fix it

Credit: timetochangecampaign on Instagram

It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey, and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.

Some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through.

Treat them the same

Credit: timetochangecampaign on Instagram

When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.

Read More: What to Do if Time to Talk Day Doesn’t Work for You

Be patient

Credit: timetochangecampaign on Instagram

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.

For more support head here: Mind – how to seek help Rethink – help in your area

Credit: Mind

Let me know in the comments or on the wellbeanblog social channels if you’re taking part in Time to Talk Day. Happy chatting!

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