British reserve leaves many suffering in silence
Almost half of British adults keep worries and concerns to themselves
• One in five people who live with someone spend 10 minutes or less during a day having meaningful conversations at home
• Over half of British adults think families are less connected emotionally than they were 20 years ago
• Almost a third are too worried about being judged to open up
• 82% of British adults believe a meaningful conversation with someone about their worries and concerns is beneficial to their mental wellbeing
• McVitie's and Mind launch 'Let's Talk' campaign to encourage the nation to get talking
Nearly half (46%) of British adults say they often keep their worries and concerns to themselves, according to new research commissioned in partnership by biscuit maker, McVitie’s, and mental health charity, Mind.
The research also found that while people may struggle to open up, an overwhelming majority (82%) believe that having a meaningful conversation with someone about their worries and concerns is beneficial to their mental wellbeing.
The new YouGov survey was conducted as part of a new partnership between McVitie's and Mind which aims to encourage the nation to get talking through its new 'Let's Talk' campaign. The partnership will also see McVitie's contribute to the opening of eight new Time to Change hubs and approximately 400 new champions across England, to help support Mind in its mission to raise awareness and promote understanding around mental health.
According to the research, 18-24-year olds are the most likely to keep their worries and concerns to themselves (53%), yet almost half (46%) of 18-24-year olds would like to feel more connected with the people they live with.
Nearly half (54%) of British adults think families are now less connected emotionally than they were 20 years ago, and 40 per cent of adults say they would like to feel more connected with people they live with. Worryingly, one in five (19%) adults who live with someone spend 10 minutes or less during a typical weekday having a meaningful conversation at home.
Those who would like to feel more connected said they miss quality interaction with the people they live with (26%) or feel lonely in general (20%) and would like to have more meaningful conversations with the people they live with (38%), as well as feel closer to them (39%).
Top barriers to people opening up about their worries and concerns are:
• Worrying about being judged (30%)
• Worrying about showing weakness (22%)
• Feeling too embarrassed (22%)
Beyond personal concerns and barriers, lifestyle factors are also eating away at opportunities to have a meaningful conversation at home:
• British adults who live with someone also say they are too tired (38%)
• Have a lack of time due to busy lifestyles (24%)
• Or are too busy checking their social media (18%)
Positively, when asked how they felt after a meaningful conversation, 69% of British adults said they felt the following: happier and in a better mood, relieved, more prepared to tackle the issues they were facing, or closer to the person they had the conversation with.
When asked what would make them more likely to talk to someone they live with about their worries or concerns, over a quarter (27%) of people said taking time to sit down for a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit together more often and spending less time on phones (23%).
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
"This new research highlights that many of us are afraid to open up to our friends and family about our problems for fear of being judged – despite the fact that getting things off our chest can make us feel better. That’s why we’re thrilled to be working with McVitie’s to encourage the nation to get talking. You don’t have to be an expert to be there for your loved ones, simply making time for a chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit can go a long way."
The partnership forms off the back of the work the snacking company behind McVitie's, pladis UK&I, has been leading around mental health in the workplace for the past two years through its internal mental health and wellbeing initiative, Positive Minds. The programme aims to create an environment for its 4,600-strong workforce in the UK where colleagues feel supported and understood in all aspects of their life.
Nick Bunker, Managing Director at pladis UK&I, owner of McVitie's:
"As a business, we have long acknowledged the importance of mental wellbeing, and by working in partnership with Mind, our ambition is to extend that reach to households up and down the country.
"The message is simple but we’re very positive about the impact it can have in reminding people that it’s good to talk. And what better way to get people talking than the age-old tradition of a biscuit and a cuppa."
For tips from Mind to help those struggling to talk and open up, or for
more information about the McVitie's and Mind partnership, visit www.mcvities.co.uk/letstalk.