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6 Conversation Starters for Talking About Mental Health

1. Try starting the conversation about something other than mental health 

Ask your friend how they are and how their work or social life is doing; if you’re concerned that they could be less open to receiving support on a particular mental health issue.

By contacting your buddy primarily to catch up, you’re giving them the room to open up and get the assistance they require. Making your friend feel more at ease to open up can be achieved by starting the conversation with a wide, humorous subject.

2. Let them know you recognise that they’re going through a hard time

Try recognizing this in the conversation if you know your buddy has gone through a trying moment, such as when they were grieving, faced a challenge at work or in their relationship, or went through a horrific incident.

For example, “I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure at work, how are you feeling?

Affirming that they are going through a difficult moment may provide them with the opportunity to talk about it and feel at ease with your support. They may be reluctant to bring up uncomfortable issues or concerns out of fear of being judged.

3. Start by stating that you care

If you’re unsure of how you can assist, simply expressing your desire to assist is a constructive way to start a conversation. I.e., “I understand that life right now is challenging for you. I want you to know that I support you and care about you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to be of assistance.

4. Offer your help and support

Dealing with mental health concerns can occasionally feel all-encompassing, making even routine chores seem overwhelming.

5. Avoid giving advice and focus on suggestions

Even though it could seem useful to give advice based on your own experiences, it’s vital to be aware that if you’re not a mental health expert, it might not be suitable to do so. Try to concentrate instead on offering options for help since everyone processes thoughts, feelings, and emotions in different ways. 

6. Ask what you can do to help

Asking them open questions, such as “What can I do to support you? “, can help keep conversations regarding mental health straightforward. ”

It’s critical to keep in mind that each individual’s experience with mental health is unique, and no one solution will benefit everyone. Therefore, by posing open-ended questions, you give the person the power to communicate their feelings and needs.

Talking can be extremely difficult for people with poor mental health, as well as for their friends and family members who wish to offer support and assistance.

The most crucial thing you can do is start a discussion, and if you’re stuck for words, the advice above should be able to help. Having that chat with a friend, family member, or coworker who is experiencing difficulties could make all the difference.

Always be considerate of others’ experiences and refrain from passing judgment on them, and respect their wishes when providing help.