I was about 16 when I had my first proper planned (ish) conversation about my mental health. I waited behind after a lesson and decided I was going to talk to my teacher about how I was feeling.
The first thing I said to my teacher was “what’s the point of life sir ?”. As a philosophy teacher, this question probably didn’t seem that absurd to him. But he soon realised that this wasn’t curiousity that had caused me to ask this.
He asked me why I was asking this. I told him how I was feeling. How it felt like I was floating. How I could go through a day and not really engage in anything and not remember what had gone on. How I felt so incredibly anxious. I also hinted at the way I felt suicidal and that I was hurting myself .
I felt like I couldn’t be entirely open with him as I was terrified. I really didn’t want my parents to find out but I knew that there was a chance my mum would be told.
It was his responsibility to pass on what I told him and he did but my mum wasn’t contacted.
After this first conversation the next conversation about my mental health was easier and they continued to get easier the more I hand.
It is also a little bit difficult for me as every conversation is different but I feel so much more comfortable talking about mental health now.
My top tips for if you wanted to open up about your mental health would be:
1. Plan the conversation. If you can plan a bit of the conversation in your head it can make it easier.
2. Pick a date. If this person is likely to busy or if you need to make an appointment to talk to them it is always helpful to pick a date. This can stop the disappointment of the person not being available.
3. Deep breaths. Try breathing deeply or some other breathing exercises to try and keep calm whilst discussing this as it can be difficult.
4. Don’t Rush. If you aren’t ready to talk about it then don’t worry. There is no rush. You can talk about it whenever and wherever.
Hope everyone had a great Time to talk day.