Find a space where one can open up
Sandeep says that arranging a coffee, a walk outside, going to lunch or even a virtual Teams/Zoom call is the best way to check in with colleagues.
Talking is important because it allows us to express our thoughts and emotions. We talk about physical health, but mental health still isn’t talked about in the same light – probably because people can’t see it. And while I encourage everyone to talk about mental health on Time to Talk Day, and every other day of the year, we must also remember to actively listen. Listening is really powerful.
"I try to find time and space for mental health conversations. As I work full-time, I mostly do this in the workplace."
My first conversation about mental health was with my mum and dad. They sat me down after noticing some worrying behaviours I had been presenting, and they told me ‘look, we’re really worried about you’. They suggested I should book a doctor’s appointment. This shocked me. I didn’t even know what mental health was until that point, but in that moment, it was as if the bubble I’d been living in had popped and they could see me for the first time. They helped me to see it was all going to be okay.
I always try to find time and space in my day for mental health conversations. As I work full-time, I mostly do this in the workplace. But it can be challenging to find a space to talk about mental health in the office because the day flies by. We’re all so busy getting our heads down in work that it’s hard to press pause and be real sometimes. I find that arranging a coffee, a walk outside, going to lunch or even arranging a virtual Teams/Zoom call with colleagues is the best way for us to check in with each other. It helps to find a space like that where it’s easier to have a frank talk and open up.
Sharing positives and negatives
With my family, checking in with them via WhatsApp is usually what works best. But we also make time to chat in person. Once a month we get together at a café after visiting the Gurdwara and have what we call a ‘trusted family circle chat.
We each share our positives and negatives of the last month, our true feelings, thoughts and work through them together. It’s helped all of us to open up, not be ashamed, explore our feelings, intervene early and help each other where we can.
‘It’s more important than ever to reach out to your loved ones and colleagues because of the cost-of-living crisis.’
Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to be in a position where the cost-of-living crisis hasn’t impacted me too much yet. However, some people I know have been struggling. I can see it’s having a negative impact on their mental health. That’s why it’s more important than ever to reach out to your loved ones, colleagues and network. It might help them to feel more comfortable talking about mental health and not to be afraid to ask for help. Please do reach out.
Information & Support
When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Visit our information pages to find out more.
Share your story with others
Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.