Friday 15th May 2015 has been designated national Time to Talk Day, as part of the Green Ribbon Campaign to encourage Irish people to make the time and space for conversation about mental health.
We often hear that we need to talk more about mental health and the simple and free Green Ribbon provides a practical way of turning that into action.
For someone who might be going through a tough time, just knowing that they don’t have to avoid the subject with you can make all the difference.
Tips for starting a conversation on mental health:
- Understand that you don’t need to be an expert
Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know that you are there for them. You do not need to have all of the answers.
- Talk, but listen too
Simply being there will mean a lot.
- Take your lead from the person
As a first step, ask them how best you can help.
- Avoid the clichés
Phrases like ‘Cheer up’, ‘I’m sure it’ll pass’ and ‘Pull yourself together’ definitely will not help. Being open minded, non-judgemental and listening will.
- Keep in touch
There are lots of small ways of showing support. You can send a text or just ask someone how they are doing.
- Don’t just talk about mental health
Just be yourself, chat about everyday things as well.
Green Ribbon Campaign 2015
During the month of May, hundreds of local and national events will take place as part of the Green Ribbon Campaign to encourage a national conversation about mental health. The initiative is led by 90 partner organisations, hundreds of volunteers and more than 60 ambassadors who are prepared to share their own stories to help others and end stigma.