Two powerful videos address mental health stigma

Small conversations about mental health can make a big difference to people’s lives – and people in Hampshire are now being encouraged to talk more.

Released for Time to Talk Day in February 2021, one video features champions from Forgotten Veterans UK and the other is focused on mental health within BAME communities

Time to Talk Champion Hayley tells us how a small conversation with her boss about how she was feeling left her feeling understood, supported and started her on the road to recovery. She says, “I think that one conversation has really been the catalyst for change after 11 years of suffering of anorexia”.

Emma Fernandes, Business Development Director from leading mental health charity Solent Mind, said: “The videos have been created in the hope they inspire people to start a small conversation about mental health at home, with friends or in the workplace.

“While we are all physically apart in lockdown, staying connected is even more important. Take the time to check in with someone you care about as many people are struggling more than usual and that small conversation might make a big difference for them.”

"Following the advice of Solent Mind can help us each to take those small steps to improve our mental health, like the 5 Ways to Wellbeing: Give. Keep Learning. Connect. Be Active. Take Notice. If you need professional counselling or are in a mental health emergency, there are local charities--like Samaritans and the Lighthouse--set up to take your call while we're in lockdown. No Limits offers a number of wellbeing services -- both face-to-face (socially distanced) and remote -- for those under 26 years old."

Lou Taylor, Director, Black History Month South CIC, said: “Black History Month South welcome the association and expertise of Solent Mind in helping to raise the awareness of mental health and wellbeing within the Black Community. Our individual mental health and that of those around us, is something we all need to be mindful of especially during these difficult days.”

Solent Mind’s tips on how to start a conversation about mental health:

  1. Ask twice. To get past the ‘I’m fine how are you?’ response, sometimes you need to ask again. Try ‘How are you really?’ or ‘Are you sure you’re ok?’
  2. Ask open questions. Start by asking how their day is going, they might just need the time and space to start talking about how they are feeling
  3. Keep conversations small and informal. Don’t make the conversation a big thing that might cause worry. A small question during a zoom cuppa is a great place to start
  4. Talk about your own feelings. Being open about your own emotions will increase trust
  5. Listen. Actively listen to what they say, you don’t need to respond just show you are listening and taking in what they are telling you
  6. Don’t try and fix it. Resist the urge to offer solutions and counter arguments, just listen to what they say and show you empathise and care
  7. Don't be judgmental. Even if you don’t understand why someone would be feeling the way they do, accept their feelings without judgement
  8. Be patient. It might take a while for someone to open up, don’t rush them just be there for them when they are ready