Talking about mental health Business vector created by Freepik Talking about a mental health condition can seem intimidating at first, especially if you haven’t spoken about it before. However, talking to someone else can be of great help. Who to talk to Common choices are family or friends, but the choice is yours. You may decide to confide in your housemate, a tutor at college, or even a close colleague. Whoever it is, the person should be someone that you trust, and feel comfortable confiding in. If you're LGBT+ you might find it easier to talk to someone who has had similar experiences. This could be an LGBT+ support officer or someone else who is, for instance, a lesbian. Beginning the conversation You may feel that a face-to-face encounter is too scary right now. In which case, you can always send the person a message instead. Regardless of how you begin the chat, you can say as little or as much as you want. You may want to simply say how you’ve been feeling lately, or you could decide that you want to share more. If it’s hard to find the right words, you could find materials on the internet that show what you’re going through. This could be a short paragraph about depression, or even a social media post that you feel captures what your experience. Don’t worry too much You may be anxious about what they’ll think, but try not to worry. In all likelihood, the other person will be glad that you’re talking to them, and will want to know how they can help. What can they do? Once you’ve got a conversation going, there are all sorts of ways in which another person can help you. They could: · Talk through how you’re feeling, and listen to you · Help you find information that could help · Offer encouragement · Help you manage your day-to-day affairs · Reduce feelings of loneliness · Offer continued support If you really feel you can’t talk to someone in your life, then there are other places you can go to begin a conversation. LGBT Switchboard is operated by trained volunteers who will listen to what you have to say. Just like you, they are also LGBT. You can contact them on 0300 330 0630 from 10am – 10pm. Samaritans operates a free helpline that is open 24/7. You don’t have to be suicidal to call about whatever is getting to you.