It’s #TimeToTalk – Now

Talking about mental health is not always easy. In fact, I think it’s rarely easy. It’s the kind of conversation we avoid out of embarrassment or fear – and I think that happens whether you’re trying to talk about your own mental health or whether you’re trying to broach the subject of your concern about someone else’s! It can feel like it’s never the right time: it would be better if we were alone; it would be better if there were other people around; it would be better if we were somewhere different, if we had more time, if someone could hand me a script of what I should say or how to explain this.

In reality, it is always the right time to talk about mental health. We need to have those conversations now. No matter how inconvenient now might seem. It’s time we started touching base more often and more authentically. It’s time we stopped saying “I’m fine” when we’re not. It’s time we stopped just hearing “I’m fine” and always taking it as a given to be true.

Let’s start taking the time to ask “How are you really?” and taking the time to answer honestly. It doesn’t have to be the whole story. It can be a simple “Not great, actually, I’m having a bit of a tough time.” and a “I’m really sorry to hear that. If you want to talk more, let me know and maybe we could go for coffee?”. That short exchange could offer someone a window of opportunity to get the support they need. It could offer you the opportunity to reach out and take a proffered hand.

So seriously, let’s talk now.

It’s easy to be too busy

Or say

It’s not the right time.

To worry that you’ll make it worse.

So you accept their fumbled

“Fine.”

It’s hard to find the moment

For hearing truth

And depth

But really we’re just finding excuses

To keep ourselves

Deaf

To all the pain that gathers

When people can’t speak

Truth

And have to keep it bottled up

For fear of hurting

You

But what happens when you leave it?

When you let the silence

Grow?

What if their pain is your pain too

But not asking means

You’ll never

Know?

So let’s all breathe together

Hold hands and take

A dive

Into conversation

With neighbours

Strangers

Friends

And lovers

Because

Now

Is The Time.

J Eden

***

To find out more about #TimetoTalk, check out this link and get involved.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health then please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. You are not alone and help is available. By opening up and starting the conversation we can move forward together and look to a mentally healthy future. Below are links to a range of fantastic organisations that can provide information, advice and services.

The Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org

Mind: http://www.mind.org.uk

Young Minds: http://www.youngminds.org.uk

Papyrus (prevention of young suicide): https://www.papyrus-uk.org

Self Harm UK: https://www.selfharm.co.uk

Time to Change: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness: http://www.rethink.org

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://www.afsp.org

Please do not struggle alone.

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