We all have mental health.

We all have mental health.

We all have mental health.

How to Start and Continue a Real Conversation About Mental Health

  • Let people know you’re willing to talk about mental health by being open about your own.
  • Have an honest conversation in private. Assume you are the only person who will reach out. Listen. Tell them you care about them. Avoid minimizing their problems or giving advice.
  • The timing doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s ok to circle back or let the person know you can have the conversation at whatever time is best for them.
  • If they hesitate reiterate that you care about them and you are there to listen and support them.
  • If you think they would be more comfortable talking with someone else you can offer to connect them to that person.
  • Remind them it’s ok if they are having a really hard time and it’s ok to talk about it. Ask for more detail and let them know they can talk to you about anything even if it’s deep or dark. Make sure to include that getting help from a mental health professional can make a big difference in their situation and you are happy to help them in any way possible. Keep them safe by reducing access to lethal means.
  • Remind them you will continue to be there for them. Continue to follow-up.

Become an Advocate for Suicide Prevention

  • Start having mental health conversations (see above).
  • Continue to educate (see links below).
  • Public Policy Action Center: helps you stay up to date on federal and state bills that need your support
  • Sign up to be an advocate for suicide prevention. I just did this! You will receive 2-3 emails a month with details on how you can join the grassroots movements related to suicide prevention and mental health. AFSP will alert you of policy and legislation that need support and you can sign-up to be notified of volunteer opportunities as well.
  • Walk to fight suicide. Community, campus, and overnight walks raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention.

Want some extra hope and encouragement?

  • The Depression Project emails over 50,000 people daily with a free, supportive, uplifting quote to help them through their day. Sign up here 🙂
  • I’ve also really been resonating with the info The Depression Project has been sharing on their Instagram account here.

Resources & Education:

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention

The Depression Project

Mental Health is Health

National Institute of Mental Health

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Alliance on Mental Health

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