Geeks Vs Loneliness: starting a conversation

Opening up isn't always the easiest thing to do. But it can make a world of difference...

Yesterday, it was Time To Talk Day 2017. It’s not a day we’ve heard too much about before, but it’s certainly something we can get behind, albeit a day late. Because its core idea is to get people talking, and to destigmatise mental health. As its website points out right from the start: “conversations about mental health change lives”.

Damn right.

Around a quarter of us are faced with a mental health issue every year, and it’s pretty guaranteed that even if you’re not personally affected, that you know somebody who is.

If you’re in the grip of some form of mental health challenge, or suspect you might be, opening up about it is the first step. Such an important step too, as without it, it’s virtually impossible for things to get better. There’s no promise of radical improvement instantly if you do, too, but it certainly helps the odds.

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But how do you even get the conversation started? Well, you don’t have to hit it head on. Amongst the suggestions that Time To Change offers is to thank someone for something they’ve done for you, to ask them how they get through tough times, to simply call someone you might not have spoken to for a while, or if you’re feeling you can, just tell somebody how you feel. If it doesn’t have the effect that you’re hoping for, don’t give up. And don’t be afraid to broach the topic again.

They’re funny things, human beings, and with the best will in the world, it may take a couple of goes before somebody gets quite what you’re trying to say to them. Please don’t be disheartened if that’s the case. There’s very, very rarely any malice to that. Just misunderstanding.

Mental health challenges are not rare, and the stigma surrounding them has thankfully been reduced significantly in recent years. But that doesn’t always mean everything is easy. Quite the opposite, sometimes. But whether it’s a friend, a colleague, an online community, or in the comments of an article like this, do let yourself – should it apply to you – admit that everything isn’t as it should be. People, in our experience, do tend to want to help, but sometimes, they just need to know that all isn’t well.

You can see the excellent Time To Change website here, and there’s lots of stuff on there that seems very helpful to us.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and stay awesome.