We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel.
So let’s get talking! Here are some listening tips to help you on your way.
Ask questions and listen
Show you really want to know how someone is feeling. Focus just on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone.
It may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up.
Don’t try to fix it
Just listening is often enough.
Use open questions
Use ones that need more than a yes/no answer, and follow up, for example ‘Tell me more.’
Say it back
Check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution.
Don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence.
Keep it simple
Chat over a cup of coffee, send a text or go for a walk together.
A small conversation about mental health can make all the difference.