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Five steps to make mental health conversations easier

Mind logo and time to talk day 2022 graphic

Time to talk is a day to highlight the idea, the need and the knowledge of holding conversations about mental health. It aims to bring together friends, family, community and workplaces to break the taboo around mental health.

Everyone has mental health, good and bad. Naturally, we tend to only think about poor mental health. Like physical health, mental health can fluctuate due to many reasons. So placed in a stressful situation, your mental health will suffer.

Time to talk removes the stigma of discussing mental health by promoting proven, easy to follow guidelines on starting a discussion on the subject.

Five steps to make mental health conversations easier

Tip 1: Create a time and space for a conversation about mental health. A window of about 10 minutes is often enough. Remember that if you’re in a public area (e.g. an office) be wary of people listening in. A great tip is to talk side by side to avoid the feeling of confrontation.

Tip 2: How to ask questions: Ask open questions that start with “What” or “How” will often get the speaker to open up about what is troubling them. Avoid starting conversions with “why”; this is because the responder will often have to pause to think before answering. Be non-judgemental; probably easier said than done, the risk of being judged is often why people bottle things up. Remember to listen to the answer and not just think about what to say next.

Tip 3: Don’t try to fix the issue: It’s difficult when a friend or loved one is upset and not want to fix it. However, similar to physical injury, the road to recovery is longer than a 10-minute conversation. Some mental health issues may need professional intervention and, as with severe physical damage, the road to recovery may take some time. Knowing that you are there for them is often enough.

Tip 4: Treat them the same: The person you started the conversation with is the same person at the end of the conversation. What you know about your friend has changed, not the person. If you want to support them, continue to do the things you usually do.

Tip 5: Patience is vital: You may know someone has an issue; however, they may not be ready to share with you or be prepared to acknowledge that there’s even a problem. Sometimes being there is enough, and you’ve made it easier for them to open up when they’re ready.

Employee Assistance Programme

A professional employee assistance programme (EAP) helps you raise the standard of mental healthcare in your workplace. When stress comes too much to bear, other areas of employees lives are often affected. At work, this may take the form of job performance, presenteeism (being at work when the employee is too sick to work) or absenteeism.

When this stress becomes too much to bear, an employee assistance program can go a long way in making whatever an employee is struggling with outside – or even inside – the workplace becomes more manageable.

Choosing an EAP package that works for you can be a daunting process. At My Staff Shop, we take care of your EAP as part of a comprehensive employee reward package. Discover more here.

My Staff Shop will make a difference to your colleagues. For a free demonstration or to answer any question, please get in touch.


The support we have received from My Staff Shop has been excellent, both during launch and ongoing. Anything raised is quickly and efficiently dealt with. Throughout, my account manager has always been available and has been a fantastic support.

Processes have been clear, training has been provided, and support with communications has been great. My Staff Shop ran specific webinars for the discount platform to support the launch and also for budget holders for the Reward & Recognition platform. The result has seen 66% of employees sign into the platform so far.

James Drewry Head of Payroll & Reward Rivus Fleet Solutions
James Drewry
Head of Payroll & Reward

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