Time to Talk: Let’s start a conversation
Time to Talk: Let’s start a conversation

4 February is Time to Talk day. I make a point of raising awareness each year because mental health is so important and we need to start talking and keep talking and in order to combat the majority of mental health issues.

I’m not one to struggle mincing my words; if I have an opinion then I’ll say something, if I disagree with a point of view I’ll do my damndest to be heard. I like a good healthy debate and I enjoy ironing out differences to reach a conclusion. That’s taken many years of practice and something I’m proud is part of me.

It wasn’t always that easy especially when I was younger; people mistook quietness for shyness instead of understanding I held back in order to observe and come to my own conclusions. Everyone is different and we all have varying degrees of introvert and extrovert qualities under different conditions. I don’t take my determination for self-improvement for granted; at times I was lucky, the right people were there at the right time and listened.

So many people are struggling with how they feel inside right now and maybe don’t have the words to express it. Many people have lost their motivation and live in apathy because it all feels so bleak.

Encouraging conversation, reaching out and asking twice if someone is ok is needed now more than ever.

Let someone find their voice, find out what they care about, what’s their purpose, what used to drive them. A single meaningful conversation today can let someone be heard, build trust and grow someone’s confidence. They may not be in a position to say exactly how they feel as they may not have figured it out yet, recognising that and gently encouraging them may be life saving.

Please don’t take simple kindness and communication for granted, if you can spare 5 minutes to say ‘Hello,’ ‘I’m here for you or ‘Do you need anything,’ then that 5 minutes may the most valuable 5 minutes you ever dedicate to someone else. You don’t need to be a mental health professional to make a difference, small gestures mean a lot right now.

Spread the word, say Hello, start a conversation today.

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