Around 10 million people will experience a mental health issue each year in the UK. We believe talking about mental health can help you and those around you to be happier and healthier. So this World Mental Health Day, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England is calling on everyone to ‘Take 10 Together’ – and have a meaningful 10 minute conversation - with a friend, a family member, a colleague or student about their mental health.
Mental Health First Aid teaches people the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support. Having a 10 minute chat is the first step on that journey.
Download the free Take 10 Together Toolkit for more mental health tips, social media graphics and a wall chart to show that you will Take 10 Together on World Mental Health Day.
57% of UK employees say they have experienced mental health issues at work but less than half of that group felt confident to open up about it. We don’t often talk about our mental health so it might seem a little daunting to start a conversation about it but it’s important to remember you don’t have to be an expert. MHFA England has put together some ideas for how you can start the conversation.
Choosing a setting
How to ask the questions
Useful questions to ask:
"How are you feeling at the moment?"
“How long have you felt like this – is it an ongoing issue?”
“Who do you feel you can go to for support?"
“Are there any work related factors which are contributing to how you are feeling?”
"Is there anything we can do to help?"
How to listen non-judgementally
Give the person your full focus and listen without interrupting.
Pay attention to their words, tone of voice and body language - all will give clues to how they are feeling.
Keep the conversation going - follow up and ask them how they are doing. Reassure them that your door is always open, and really mean it. It's particularly essential to keep in touch with an employee who is off sick.
Give reassurance that there are lots of sources of support and some of these might be available through their workplace, such as the HR or Occupational Health department, Employee Assisted Programmes or on-site counselling.
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