Start Talking: Breaking The Stigma About Mental Health

It’s time to unmask the unspoken and get talking about mental health. Having open and honest discussions with your friends and family will not only help them and you move forward with your mental health journey but can also help foster open dialogue and break societal taboos. So many of us suffer from a wide range of mental health issues, so let’s start talking about them.

Breaking the Stigma

Myths and misconceptions about mental health and even mental health treatments can discourage people from opening up. Talking and sharing the burden with others can be save lives, so it’s important to create environments that are conducive to conversation, that are free from judgment and are welcoming. We can all consciously make this space in our daily lives for family and friends.

Redefining How We Talk About Mental Health

The language we use can be very powerful. So, to reshape the narrative, choose words that destigmatize mental health. A deliberate shift in the kind of language we use can create more accessible and relatable narratives. 

Whether you need to open up to someone or someone needs to open up to you, aim for honesty as well as empathetic and inclusive language. Avoid sweeping statements and over-generalized narratives. It’s important to recognize that everyone’s journey and experience differs. 

The Power of Active Listening 

Active listening paves the way for meaningful conversations to be had. A simple way to begin active listening is to listen in order to understand, not to respond. This helps you to be more present and foster deeper connections. This can really make a loved one feel seen and heard. Active listening does take practice, so why not start today? Try to avoid formulating replies in your head, and simply sit back, listen, and take in what someone is saying. 

Share Your Stories 

As we’ve already said, everyone’s experience is different, so sharing your personal mental health story can be powerful. Self-disclosure helps to break down barriers and will give others assurance that they’re not alone. 

If it feels right, you can also share what worked for you. It’s important to understand there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to mental health, but if you’ve found some solutions that have worked for you, such as those offered by, why not share them? 

How to Start a Conversation

For many people, initiating a conversation about mental health can be incredibly daunting. But here and some steps you can take that might help. 

  • Consider the time and the place; try to opt for a time when you won’t be interrupted and can speak openly and freely. 
  • Express your intentions. You could start by saying that you want to share something important or that you want to talk about your/their mental health. This helps set the tone for the conversation and will ensure that you’re both on the same page.
  • It can often feel necessary to downplay or sugarcoat your emotions for the comfort of others. Try to avoid this as it won’t help in the long run. 
  • Express what you need and what you want from the conversation. Do you need support seeking professional help, or do you simply need an ear to listen to you? It can be helpful for you both if you express the outcomes you’d like. 

Talking about mental health is vital yet can be challenging. Remember, your journey is personal to you and it’s okay to take it one step and a time and at a pace you feel comfortable with.