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Donut be afraid to speak – Conversation starters
Mental health, like physical health, is an essential part of our well-being and it’s important to have open and honest conversations about it. By starting conversations about mental health, you can help create a safe and supportive space for others to share their experiences. That said, starting mental health conversations can be tough, especially if you’re not experienced with the topic or unsure about how to approach it. Here are some conversation starters to help you out.
“How are you feeling lately?”
This is an open-ended question (as opposed to a closed-ended question like “Are you all good?”) that allows the person to share their emotions and thoughts without feeling like you are boxing them into an expected response – which closed-ended questions tend to do.
“I’ve been feeling a bit flat/ stressed/ overwhelmed lately. How about you?”
Sharing your own experiences can help to break the ice and create a sense of comfort and understanding. By sharing your own vulnerability, you may also encourage the other person to open up about their experiences.
“I noticed you’ve been acting slightly off lately. How’s everything going?”
By demonstrating that you are observant and caring, you can create a supportive and non-judgmental environment for them to open up.
Starting a conversation about mental health doesn’t have to be serious all the time. A playful tone can sometimes make the conversation more light-hearted and relatable.
· “Hey, how’s your head today?”
· “Do you ever feel like your brain is like a roller coaster ride? I know I do. Let’s chat about how we can calm it down.”
· “I heard mindfulness is like a day spa for your mind. Let’s give it a shot.”
· “Let’s have a mental health check-in! On a scale of 1 (terrible) to 10 (awesome), how’s your head feeling today?”
Conversations about mental health can be difficult to initiate, especially if it’s not something that’s often talked about in your community. However, starting these conversations can be an important step in reducing the stigma around mental health.
Importantly, if your intent is to genuinely help someone out, it’s very difficult to say the wrong thing. Often, your mere presence as a kind and supportive person is enough!
“Chatting with people who are struggling is like baking a donut, it requires patience and a delicate touch.” (Anonymous, 2023)
Donut be afraid to speak!