Last year, we published a blog about ‘The Power of Small’ for Time To Talk Day, discussing how a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference. By looking out for each other, reaching out, and creating a dialogue around mental health, you could help your loved ones if they are struggling with their mental health.
Since that blog was published, how many of you have done any of the following?
Check in With Friends
Have you taken the time to check in with friends? Have you:
- Made time to talk?
- Arranged a time away from work or family commitments to talk and listen with no additional pressures?
Or, have you recognised any of your friends appearing distracted or absent? Remember:
- It could be nothing, but there may be more serious things on their mind,
- Don’t take offence,
- Don’t change how you are around them,
- Be patient, they may need that friend more than ever
Did you take time to talk? Did you feel confident speaking with the person? How did you feel after?
Communication is a skill that comes naturally to some people, but others may find it more difficult, and it can be hard to start if you haven’t had much practice. Just remember that in time it will become easier!
Some ideas for starting conversations or improving conversations within the workplace could include:
- Tea and Talk, workshops led by senior management exploring lived experiences of mental health
- Advertising who mental health first aiders are in the workplace, so that people know who is available to talk to and listen to them if they are experiencing difficulty
- Sharing stories and swapping tips, much like these blogs publishing tips on staying healthy, asking staff members to share their ideas with the workforce
- Walking and talking, going for a walk with a colleague at lunch time or coffee break, one of the benefits of this method is there is no pressure to keep conversations going, you can all just enjoy being out and about experiencing nature
- Two-way flow of ideas, letting the wider workforce influence decisions on wellbeing in the workplace, sharing ideas they may have on where improvements can be made or examples of ideas they have
Whatever your chosen method making moves to talk regularly makes talking easier, often it’s the first step that’s the hardest. Once you’ve taken that step, the rest should follow.
Written by Neil Ward, Training Consultant at WA Management.
If you’re interested in becoming a mental health first aider for your workplace, we offer courses up to QNUK Level 3 Award. Through this training you can learn how to identify those struggling with their mental health, what you can do to support them, and how best to raise awareness within the workplace.
Read more Mental Health Matters blogs here.