5 Reasons To STOP Just Telling People To Talk About Their Mental Health!
1) Talking is not always the only, or right immediate solution.
We put so much onus on talking. Don’t get me wrong, not many people talk about their struggles as much as I do, but it is not the only way. We must create spaces where people can explore what works for them in terms of expressing the ways they feel. Whether it be through music, art or any other form of expression, there is no right or wrong way.
2) Telling someone to talk is actually a judgement.
The moment you tell someone they should talk about their issues, you are actually saying ‘I know what is wrong with you and I know how you need to change’. We need to be completely free of judgement and rather show that we are ready to meet people where they are at, wherever that may be. Crashing straight in with telling someone to talk adds pressure and shows a desire to ‘fix’ as opposed to a desire to listen.
3) We are not yet ready to listen.
Ok, so this is a broad comment and not strictly true for some of us but the reality is, that on a society level, we are not ready to listen. We talk about the idea that people should talk more about their problems while doing nothing to show we are ready to listen. Think of any time when you have opened up to anyone about anything and I can almost guarantee that you did so because of the way that person made you feel. Becoming ready to listen as people, is something we must work on and is based on actions not on words. People talk when they feel they might be heard.
4) Not enough people are setting examples.
Think about it, here we are saying that those that are really in the mire need to open up more and yet we aren’t doing it ourselves. How can you expect those that are nearing the brink to open up about their struggles, when you cant even share about your own anxieties, and I know you have them. We all need to lead by example on this. You really want to show people that talking is ok? Then start talking about your own struggles. Lets do this together.
5) Mental Health needs to be a ‘we’ conversation not a ‘you’ one.
This is what it all boils down to in the end. Telling people to talk suggests that mental health is something that only impacts those people ‘over there’. Let me stick this in capital letters for you to really make my point:
WE ALL HAVE MENTAL HEALTH.
So when it comes to talking about it, its something we all must be on board with, it’s something we change by changing ourselves. We must make the conversation inclusive, one where we recognise we are all in this together.
So, before you post on social media today telling those people over there to talk about their mental health,
that those people ‘over there’ are just like you.
Why not make today the day you post about something that you struggle with? After all, we all have mental health.