Time to Talk Day

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Health Assured team

30 January 2024

Sharing experiences through discussion and conversation is a great step toward better mental wellbeing. It alleviates mental health struggles, relieves pent-up feelings, reduces emotional impact, empowers, and presents other perspectives.

In 2023, actress Lili Reinhart opened up on a string of social media posts discussing how important it is to talk about mental health and touching on the stigma surrounding the topic. “Therapy is never something to feel ashamed of. Everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.”

Time to Talk Day is a dedicated day to encourage discussions and to bring friends, families, communities, and workplaces together to talk and listen openly about mental health.

Organised by Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, and in partnership with the Co-Op, Time to Talk Day aims to bring awareness around talking to improve mental wellbeing.

The day encourages communicating with those close to you, talking to counsellors, and tackling stigma around mental health.

According to the University of Surrey, 1 in 6 of us experience mental health problems every week, so it is worth considering opening up and talking about our mental wellbeing to our trusted circle or a counsellor.

Time to Talk Day lands on the 1st February 2024 and the theme will be to encourage people to talk about how they really feel, confronting the common response to mental health questions of  ‘I’m Fine, thank you.’


Why is talking important?             

There is a stigma associated with mental health issues, such as misconceptions and lack of understanding. So, it can be extremely difficult to speak to someone about mental health. As Reinhart touched on above, many people feel embarrassed to talk about their mental health, even to their closest friends and family.

Individuals may feel as though they cannot honestly open up about their issues because of stigma, worsening mental health, and feelings of isolation and loneliness. Many may internalize thoughts and feelings because of society’s pressures, rather than voicing them.

As a leader, it is important to encourage your people to take the steps to healthier and happier wellbeing. Encouraging your people to open up about their mental health is a great way to do this, but how?


5 ways to encourage your people to talk about their mental health

  1. Show you care

A great leader shows they care about colleagues’ professional and personal lives, including mental health struggles.

Showing you care encourages your people to feel confident in communicating their thoughts and feelings when they need to, confronting mental health stigma and providing mental release for your people.

Colleagues who feel as though they are valued and cared for by their leaders are more likely to work hard and go above and beyond for the company, a win-win.

Offer regular mental health check-ins and meetings in a safe, honest, and open environment, making you aware of how your people are coping mentally and allowing you to support them in the best way possible.

  1. Keep it confidential

Opening up can be difficult for many. The stigma surrounding mental health has taught many of us that we should feel embarrassed and ashamed of our mental issues, even though we know and understand we shouldn’t.

If a colleague is communicating their mental health worries and needs support, it must be kept confidential. Keeping emotional conversations confidential builds trust as a leader and shows you can be reliable.

Unless you seriously believe your colleague may put themselves or others at risk, you have a duty of care to keep the conversation confidential.

  1. Offer support

Offering extra mental health support to your people is essential. It allows your people access to trained counsellors to assist them in their mental health journey. Talking with a trained counsellor is a great way to alleviate mental stresses, get a different perspective, and talk about mental wellbeing. 75% of people who try talk therapy notice a benefit.

Employee Assistance Programmes are a great way to provide extra support. Your people will have access to positive, professional help such as counselling, a 24-hour helpline, and resources.

  1. Offer reassurance

Coming forward with mental health problems can be daunting.

It is vital that leaders create a safe, open, and comfortable atmosphere for their people. If this is not achieved, your colleagues will find it difficult to talk and create a negative talking culture.

Explain to colleagues the importance of being open and honest about their feelings and reiterating that the workplace is a safe place to discuss any mental health issues. This can be achieved through regular meetings, posters, resources, and check-ins.

  1. Celebrate Time to Talk Day

Celebrating Time to Talk encourages better mental health communication. Try fitting in some fun activities throughout the working day to get your people more involved, such as a ‘tea and talk,’ quizzes and lunchtime mental health talks.

Head to the Time to Talk Day website where there are tips on how to get your organisation involved in supporting better mental health.


Supporting your organisation's mental health challenges

With a Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we can offer you practical advice and support when it comes to dealing with anxiety, and depression, and how to improve your work-life balance.

Our EAP provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and at home. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support your employee's mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


Find out more about EAPs


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