Time to Talk Day 2019 - Thursday 7th Feb Watch

Deyesy
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Thursday 7th February 2019 is Time to Talk Day. It's primary aim is to encourage conversations around anything and everything mental health related to try and decrease some the stigma that still surrounds it.

This year's day is 'all about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health.' Whether that's a cuppa tea or coffee and a biscuit or running an event to raise awareness of mental health, the aim is just to get people talking.



It's a widely known fact that 1 in 4 of us will be affected by a mental health problem in our lifetimes and yet a lot of us are still afraid to talk about it. Time to Talk Day aims to break down some the barriers people face when wanting to talk about mental health. Over 100,000 conversations were had online alone - a huge number, which just goes to show the power of social media

So what ingredients for you make a good mental health conversation?
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shadowdweller
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I think one really important thing is openness/a lack of judgement - it's always going to be easier talking to someone you feel isn't judging you than someone who is!
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I try to talk but no-one seems to listen
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Great to see TSR supporting Time To Talk Day 2019!

My top five ingredients (though not necessarily/automatically) in this order, are as follows:

1. A safe space in which to talk
2. Attentive, non-judgemental listening
3. Validation
4. Empathic witness
5. Acceptance
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Pinkisk
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
I think one really important thing is openness/a lack of judgement - it's always going to be easier talking to someone you feel isn't judging you than someone who is!
People don't talk about their mental health problems because there are serious repercussions for doing just that. There are serious repercussions for being open about these things. I am not only referring to problems that result from societal prejudices here. I am also referring to very destructive real world conseuqnces that are enshrined in our laws and practices in society, for those who do become open about these issues.

People who have issues with mental health can by the law be denied jobs. They can be prevented from pursuing certain careers. They can be margenlised and segregated. They can be denied friendships and relationships. Encouraging people to talk about these kind of problems in the open at this moment in time is a recipe for disaster for these often very fragile people.
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SoulfulTwist
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I'd love to talk IRL to people I know about the MH problems I've faced/and currently face but fear of judgement and the stigma surrounding it holds me back. Once or twice I did, I regretted it beyond measure. Only something about which I'd talk to people who'd had issues themselves and weren't family members.
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(Original post by SoulfulTwist)
I'd love to talk IRL to people I know about the MH problems I've faced/and currently face but fear of judgement and the stigma surrounding it holds me back. Once or twice I did, I regretted it beyond measure. Only something about which I'd talk to people who'd had issues themselves and weren't family members.
Thats so sad.

I hear people say be open about MH problems all the time. I find people who say these kind of things are often ignorant of just how destructive being open about these things is to people who have these problems. It can be so so so problematic... it can be the end of a person.
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
Thats so sad.

I hear people say be open about MH problems all the time. I find people who say these kind of things are often ignorant of just how destructive being open about these things is to people who have these problems. It can be so so so problematic... it can be the end of a person.
I think it's be open with the right people about your own particular issues (be that friends, families, fellow sufferers, doctor etc)
And be open with regards to mental health if someone suffers or to raise awareness without always linking it to yourself unless you are comfortable doing so.
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
People don't talk about their mental health problems because there are serious repercussions for doing just that. There are serious repercussions for being open about these things. I am not only referring to problems that result from societal prejudices here. I am also referring to very destructive real world conseuqnces that are enshrined in our laws and practices in society, for those who do become open about these issues.

People who have issues with mental health can by the law be denied jobs. They can be prevented from pursuing certain careers. They can be margenlised and segregated. They can be denied friendships and relationships. Encouraging people to talk about these kind of problems in the open at this moment in time is a recipe for disaster for these often very fragile people.
Mental health issues are covered by the Equality Act, by law you cannot be denied a job on that basis alone, at least in the UK. There are of course some exceptions to this with certain careers, but by and large mental health issues do not prevent you getting work,cane getting help can actually make them more manageable in the workplace.

We’re not encouraging people to talk about it with each and every individual they meet, but instead to talk to a close friend or family member and to go to their GP etc to get support.
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Mental health issues are covered by the Equality Act, by law you cannot be denied a job on that basis alone, at least in the UK. There are of course some exceptions to this with certain careers, but by and large mental health issues do not prevent you getting work,cane getting help can actually make them more manageable in the workplace.

We’re not encouraging people to talk about it with each and every individual they meet, but instead to talk to a close friend or family member and to go to their GP etc to get support.
Please don't take offence from this because this issue is very close to me but I always find people who do come involved in these matters to be so ignorant of what they say and do about them.

I have a friend who's life has been destroyed thanks to being 'open' to their 'doctor' about these matters. This person's work was plagiarised by a senior staff member who used this person's health condition to have them removed from the university after plagiarising their work. This person was such a hard working, very bright person. They were very innocent in the things that they said and did. The doctor at the university's occ health service and staff at the mental health service to whom they were 'open' helped facilitate that process for the university. In May this year this person attempted suicide as a result of what was done to them. They refuse to be in contact with anyone now. None of us can talk to them.

Reality is often disconnected from what you read in the 'Equality Act'. There are serious repercussions for people who are open about their MH issues. Serious, serious repercussions that are often facilitated by the law. A person with a mental health condition can be easily abused. You do not know how hard it is and how dangerous it is for people to be open about this matter, even with professionals. It is hard because it carries serious consequnces. This is sad but true. It is the reason why people who have these problems are often very reluctant in sharing them with others, even professionals. I see this very often as a student, patients who have these issues being very careful in what they say to healthcare professionals about these matters, because being open and frank about these matters can be the end of them, their career, their relationships etc.

The problem in so far as openness is concerned isn't with the people that suffer these conditions but rather society. So society should be our focus for change not the people who have these conditions.

I think as a society we need to create a safe environment for people with these conditions before we ask them to be open about them. I am sure if we did they will become more open about these issues without us telling them to do so.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
The problem in so far as openness is concerned isn't with the people that suffer these conditions but rather society. So society should be our focus for change not the people who have these conditions.

I think as a society we need to create a safe environment for people with these conditions before we ask them to be open about them. I am sure if we did they will become more open about these issues without us telling them to do so.
I agree with you that the problem is with society. Though I'd question how you want or propose to create this "safe environment" without days like this and people opening up, to bring about greater awareness, tbh. The greater the silence is, then naturally the less people will know about mental health and the harder it will be to sympathise, understand, etc...
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
Please don't take offence from this because this issue is very close to me but I always find people who do come involved in these matters to be so ignorant of what they say and do about them.

I have a friend who's life has been destroyed thanks to being 'open' to their 'doctor' about these matters. This person's work was plagiarised by a senior staff member who used this person's health condition to have them removed from the university after plagiarising their work. This person was such a hard working, very bright person. They were very innocent in the things that they said and did. The doctor at the university's occ health service and staff at the mental health service to whom they were 'open' helped facilitate that process for the university. In May this year this person attempted suicide as a result of what was done to them. They refuse to be in contact with anyone now. None of us can talk to them.

Reality is often disconnected from what you read in the 'Equality Act'. There are serious repercussions for people who are open about their MH issues. Serious, serious repercussions that are often facilitated by the law. A person with a mental health condition can be easily abused. You do not know how hard it is and how dangerous it is for people to be open about this matter, even with professionals. It is hard because it carries serious consequnces. This is sad but true. It is the reason why people who have these problems are often very reluctant in sharing them with others, even professionals. I see this very often as a student, patients who have these issues being very careful in what they say to healthcare professionals about these matters, because being open and frank about these matters can be the end of them, their career, their relationships etc.

The problem in so far as openness is concerned isn't with the people that suffer these conditions but rather society. So society should be our focus for change not the people who have these conditions.

I think as a society we need to create a safe environment for people with these conditions before we ask them to be open about them. I am sure if we did they will become more open about these issues without us telling them to do so.
I am very sorry for what happened to your friend, and I really hope they get to a point where they can start to build their life back up. However, I would argue that their experience is very much an outlier, and not what would generally occur in getting support from a healthcare professional when reaching out for help.

My point around the Equality Act is not that you should 100% expect everyone to be open and accepting because of it, but that businesses acting against it are doing so unlawfully, and would be the ones in the wrong in such a situation; basically the argument being that it should be a reason to raise the offenses to a higher level, not a reason for people not to be open.

I will say, however, that you assume a lot about my own situation in your reply - you talk about how I don't know how hard and dangerous it is for people to be open about it without actually knowing if I ever have been; in general, it is not good to assume you know more of others experiences than they do of their own. I am well aware of what being open about mental health conditions entails, and am open about my own in my workplace, and with healthcare professionals.

Now, I definitely agree that society needs to be better with MH conditions and with open discussion in general, but we don't get to that point by waiting to talk about it until it's already there - society progresses with people having understanding and sharing their views, and we need to do that if we ever want it to get better.
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
I am very sorry for what happened to your friend, and I really hope they get to a point where they can start to build their life back up. However, I would argue that their experience is very much an outlier, and not what would generally occur in getting support from a healthcare professional when reaching out for help.

My point around the Equality Act is not that you should 100% expect everyone to be open and accepting because of it, but that businesses acting against it are doing so unlawfully, and would be the ones in the wrong in such a situation; basically the argument being that it should be a reason to raise the offenses to a higher level, not a reason for people not to be open.

I will say, however, that you assume a lot about my own situation in your reply - you talk about how I don't know how hard and dangerous it is for people to be open about it without actually knowing if I ever have been; in general, it is not good to assume you know more of others experiences than they do of their own. I am well aware of what being open about mental health conditions entails, and am open about my own in my workplace, and with healthcare professionals.

Now, I definitely agree that society needs to be better with MH conditions and with open discussion in general, but we don't get to that point by waiting to talk about it until it's already there - society progresses with people having understanding and sharing their views, and we need to do that if we ever want it to get better.
I think that this is far from being an outlier shadowdweller. I would argue that the reluctance of people who suffer from these conditions to be open and frank about them is testament to the fact that this is not an outlier. This reluctance is testament to the fact that these people are afraid of something, that something is keeping them from being open and that something is without question an awareness of the very serious negative consequence of being open about these things. I would argue that if these injustices were an outlier people would have no fear whatsoever of being open about these issues and there would be no need for us to encourage them to talk, to be open, about their problems. There would be no need for this thread.

There are consequences, which can be and often are very serious, in society for people who become open about these matters. So long as these problems exist, these people will suffer when they become open about these issues and so remain reluctant to be open.

The best way to address this problem, the best thing we can talk about when engaging in these issues is, I think, addressing the problems that are keeping these people from being open and these problems are of our society and not the people that suffer from issues with MH.

I agree with you 100%, that talking about these issues is the only way we can make change. It wasn’t my intention to say that we shouldn’t be talking about these issues. My contention was with the way in which you propose we address this problem in society. I mean these people risk suffering abuse and they are extremely fragile. So encouraging them to be open is exposing them to the risk of becoming victimised and therefore hurt.

Our focus should not be the people who suffer from these conditions as the problems, the stigma, the discrimination, the marginalisation, the segregation, are of our society. They are problems with our society. So long as there is discrimination and abuse targeted at people who suffer from these conditions these people will carry on being reluctant to be open. Encouraging them to be open doesn’t address any of the problems that have lead them to become reluctant to be open. Our focus, in resolving their reluctance to be open, should be on challenging and changing the society that is keeping them from being open, such that we can create a safe environment for these people to be open and frank about their issues with MH.

You are right. There is a negative assumption implicit in my previous comments about your experience in this matter. I apologise for that.
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I think that this is far from being an outlier shadowdweller. I would argue that the reluctance of people who suffer from these conditions to be open and frank about them is testament to the fact that this is not an outlier. This reluctance is testament to the fact that these people are afraid of something, that something is keeping them from being open and that something is without question an awareness of the very serious negative consequence of being open about these things. I would argue that if these injustices were an outlier people would have no fear whatsoever of being open about these issues and there would be no need for us to encourage them to talk, to be open, about their problems. There would be no need for this thread.

There are consequences, which can be and often are very serious, in society for people who become open about these matters. So long as these problems exist, these people will suffer when they become open about these issues and so remain reluctant to be open.

The best way to address this problem, the best thing we can talk about when engaging in these issues is, I think, addressing the problems that are keeping these people from being open and these problems are of our society and not the people that suffer from issues with MH.

I agree with you 100%, that talking about these issues is the only way we can make change. It wasn’t my intention to say that we shouldn’t be talking about these issues. My contention was with the way in which you propose we address this problem in society. I mean these people risk suffering abuse and they are extremely fragile. So encouraging them to be open is exposing them to the risk of becoming victimised and therefore hurt.

Our focus should not be the people who suffer from these conditions as the problems, the stigma, the discrimination, the marginalisation, the segregation, are of our society. They are problems with our society. So long as there is discrimination and abuse targeted at people who suffer from these conditions these people will carry on being reluctant to be open. Encouraging them to be open doesn’t address any of the problems that have lead them to become reluctant to be open. Our focus, in resolving their reluctance to be open, should be on challenging and changing the society that is keeping them from being open, such that we can create a safe environment for these people to be open and frank about their issues with MH.

You are right. There is a negative assumption implicit in my previous comments about your experience in this matter. I apologise for that.
The reluctance of people to be open about them is largely due to fear, I would argue - and fear generally stems from the possibility of an outcome, not the likelihood of it. The fact that there is a chance of negative reactions and outcomes is, in my view, what puts people off, but that does not mean that those things are likely or commonplace. People will always have fear when there may be a negative reaction, even if it is very rare.

Now, I'm not denying that there is a chance of a poor social reaction, that, and the reluctance of people to open up, is what drives threads like these. However, what I do disagree with you on is the notion that it will negatively affect people's employment when that is not the case outside of a few exceptions, and people are protected by law.

In terms of encouraging people to be open, again, it's not a proposal that they should tell anyone they meet on the street, but that they should be open with a friend or family member they trust, and a healthcare professional if they're able - you're right, they will get hurt by a negative reaction, but they will also suffer if they try to deal with it alone with no support whatsoever.

I agree with you that the focus on improving reactions should be on society, but our focus on getting people to open up should be on both; MH conditions are incredibly difficult to go through alone, and whilst it may not be possible in current society to be truly open without potential backlash, that does not prevent you getting the support you need by being open to some. Encouraging them to be open does not address all problems that lead people to be reluctant to be open, but it does address some; namely the feeling of being alone, or the only one who is going through a problem, and it does address personal problems in that it opens up treatment options to them which they would not have without talking about it.
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Talking can be overrated in my opinion.
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(Original post by Royal Oak)
Talking can be overrated in my opinion.
Agree, this is the case sometimes. My friend told me I could come to her for help with anything, I came to her and told her about a situation, she didn't even know what to do.
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(Original post by Obolinda)
Agree, this is the case sometimes. My friend told me I could come to her for help with anything, I came to her and told her about a situation, she didn't even know what to do.
Exactly. I also feel the same when somebody mentions or posts that theybare going through a mental health crisis and the usual answers are to contact the Samaritans. Don't get me wrong, they are a wonderful organisation and I have contacted them many a time. But they aren't always the appropriate option. When I wanted someone who wouldn't judge to cry to, they were good. When I actually wanted someone to give me an answer to my problems, or just talk, it didn't help at all and was actually incredibly frustrating.
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