Let’s talk about Mental Health at BaseKit

basekit time to talk

As today marks  Time to Talk Day by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, here at BaseKit we are reflecting on the past 12 months, and what we’ve done for our team when it comes to discussions around mental health and what we’re doing to help people who need support.

Talking about mental health is on the rise, but Spill reports that only 13% of people still feel comfortable discussing their mental health in the workplace. At BaseKit, we want to be part of the change to make people feel more at ease with the conversation around it.

Over the past 12 months we’ve introduced Spill and free counselling sessions for our team, committed to being a Mental Health Charter Employer, and introduced our in house Wellbeing Champion Rae, who influences us to take part in various activities to keep our mind healthy. From building this support network within BaseKit, we believe even these small steps could help people feel more open with the conversation around mental health. Although we know it’s not always that easy.

Emily, who is part of our Mental Health and Wellbeing team reflects on why people may struggle to start an open conversation about their mental health, and what we can do to break down these barriers.

“Hey, how are you?” 

“Fine thanks.”

A very normal opening to most conversations on a daily basis, and most of the time isn’t really thought too much about. Some people will be fine and that is their go to response. However, some people won’t be fine, and will use it to move the conversation along to avoid any questions. Nobody wants to be that person who is moaning that something is wrong, and a lot of people will only ask the question out of courtesy before asking about something else.

But not only is it important to share how we really feel, it’s needed to maintain a healthy mindset. Over a third of adults in the UK never make space to talk about mental health in their day, and over time this can lead to increased anxiety and depression, and many more issues that could cause a dangerous spiral of negative thoughts.

The right conversation at the right time can defuse these feelings.

So, how can we start these conversations, and how can we make sure people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts?

Let’s start by asking twice. If someone’s initial reaction is to say “I’m fine”, after the first time of asking,  reply with “Are you sure? Is there anything I can help with?”. This shows your genuinely interested, and you want to be the person to help them in their time of need. Most of the time, people will start to open up to some degree once the question has been asked again.

Use personal experiences. When someone can relate to what you have been through, it can give them the realisation that they’re not alone. You can really put into words how someone else is feeling when they can’t really express it themselves.

Don’t just talk about mental health. Most people won’t want to be defined by their mental health, and so talking about things you’ve always talked about will help. Whether this is the latest football match, what you did on the weekend, or anything you’ve taken part in recently to help your mood.

So whether it’s trying to start, or trying to carry on with the conversation around mental health, these small steps can help build the foundation of what could be a really powerful way to build relationships with your friends and break down any stigma attached to struggling.

We’ve found some other tips, statistics, and videos on talking about mental health, check them out: 

Time to Talk day

Mens Mental Health

Always ask Twice Video

Helping someone else

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