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Our Top Tips for Time to Talk Day 2021

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One thing we are so proud of here with the #PRFam is how everyone looks out for each other but sometimes it can be hard to know what to say when you are worried about someone.
This is especially true when we cannot get together so we have pulled together our top tips to help start those conversations:

As Time to Change say… Start small:
Sending a simple message saying “hello, how are you doing?” or even a joke or meme* that you think will make them smile with a message like “I thought you’d find this funny, hope you’re doing okay”, is a good place to start. This will help the other person know that you are thinking about them.
*The #PRFamMemes Facebook group is not for the faint-hearted so visit and use responsibly.

Stay in touch:
Try to not be offended if they take a long time to reply or don’t reply to your first message.
Sometimes when people are struggling with their mental health, they find it really hard to speak to people, so it may take them some time.
Don’t give up after your first try; message again to show you really care about how they are doing.

Be aware of changes:
If someone is struggling with their mental health, you might notice some changes to their personality.
For example, they might become more angry, tired, forgetful, worried or sensitive.
Bear this in mind when talking to them and try not to take things personally. Be kind and patient with them.

Listen:
Listening is powerful. If the person you are worried about opens up to you, just be there to listen.
It can feel hard knowing what to say, but don’t worry about ‘not saying the right thing’. You don’t need to try and ‘fix’ them or give expert advice.
Simply being there, being understanding and non-judgemental, and hearing what they have to say is a massive step in that person’s journey towards feeling better.

Suggest an activity:
Here is where we might be able to help. There is so much going on you will be spoilt for choice…
Maybe a gaming night with or without the rest of the Fam? Look out for announcements on #PRFam and the website.
Or a movie night? Why not suggest they pick a film you can watch at the same time or join the PRFam Film Club?
Invite them to take part in the infamous monthly Inkquizition or watch Hybrid Query on a Thurs night?
If you really are stuck for suggestions why not ask them to join you in deciphering this week’s One Word Wednesday Bingo (OWWB) clues?
See if they just fancy a zoom chat? If they are into rock and metal why not share some of the bands from Up-Vote with them? They might find something they like they have never heard before. Or if they are local you could meet up for a walk in the park.

Doing an activity together can help show the other person that you care and that you are interested in spending time with them, albeit remotely or at a distance at the current time. Spending more time together may help them feel more comfortable with you, which might lead to them feeling able to share how they have been feeling. Just be sensitive if they do not want to engage and perhaps try again at a later date.

Look to your idols:
There are lots of musicians who have spoken publicly about mental health – particularly in the rock and metal community.
From Jesse Leach to Jonathan Davis and Scott Stapp…
It might be worth using them as a way to start a conversation about mental health. This will help show the other person that mental health is something you feel comfortable talking about.
It can also help you both discuss how mental health is something no one should feel ashamed of, it affects everyone, even the people you would least expect.

  • If you are worried about someone’s mental health, don’t be afraid to suggest that they phone a helpline (such as Samaritans on 116 123) or speak to their GP about how they have been feeling.
  • Sign up or find out more about Time to Talk Day, download resources, materials and activity packs here.
  • Manchester Mind is offering members of the PRFam discount on their mental health courses for organisations and individuals.
    Find out more about how you can support mental health in the workplace with their training courses. When booking just quote PRFAM10 to receive 10% off.
    100% of the profits from these courses is invested directly into delivering mental health services to those in need.