03 Feb 2023

Top tips for talking about mental health

A lot of the work we do at Inside Job Productions is focused on mental health. Whether it’s providing work opportunities through our Production Trainee Scheme, working in the criminal justice system through the Mental Health Media Production Unit, teaming up with partners such as Rethink, or creating compelling video content on the subject, it’s something that is important to us.

Talking about mental health is so important. Stigma holds us back as a society. But mental health is a complex and important topic that can be difficult to talk about. 

Here are a few tips on how to approach conversations about mental health.

Be respectful and non-judgmental

When talking about mental health, it’s important to be sensitive to the person you’re speaking with. Avoid using negative language or stereotypes, and remember that mental health conditions are real and can be serious.

Listen actively

Active listening is key when talking about mental health. Give the person your full attention, and try to understand their perspective. Avoid interrupting or offering unsolicited advice.

Use “I” statements

When expressing your thoughts or feelings, use “I” statements to avoid placing blame or making the conversation about you. For example, instead of saying “You’re being irrational,” say “I’m feeling concerned about your wellbeing.”

Be patient

Talking about mental health can be difficult for some people, so be patient with them. It can take time for someone to open up and be comfortable discussing their mental health.

Encourage seeking help

If someone is struggling with their mental health, encourage them to seek professional help. Offer to help them find resources such as a therapist or support group.

Practice self-care

Remember to practice self-care when talking about mental health. These conversations can be emotionally taxing, so make sure to take care of yourself both during and after the conversation.

Be aware

It is also important to be aware of cultural and societal factors that might affect how people talk about and experience mental health. Some cultures may have different beliefs and practices around mental health, and some communities may be more stigmatizing than others. Being mindful and respectful of these differences can help to create a more inclusive and supportive conversation.

We all have mental health. And it’s important we keep talking about it. These top tips can help you do just that.