On Thursday 7 February, Northamptonshire NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust (NHFT) wants to encourage people to start conversations about mental health. Stamping out the stigma of mental health is the key to combatting people’s fear of speaking out about their struggles and their day-to-day life experiences.
The importance of talking through experiences both positive and negative with another person whether relative, friend or healthcare professional is a great way to reflect on situations that may have proved overwhelming or difficult to handle.
With the Time to Change: Time to Talk awareness day promoting open conversations, we have asked our Changing Minds IAPT team to pull together a list of top tips to help prompt conversations as well as give people who are finding themselves overwhelmed some tools to cope:
- Ask someone how they are – a simple question which can lead to contact with another person can mean so much
- Write down three positive things a day you have achieved; these can be anything such as posting a letter
- Set small goals to achieve each day – they will give you a sense of purpose, again these need only be small
- Go outside, take a walk or just stand in your garden for some fresh air
- Getting into a routine can be very helpful – organise a sleep routine; go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time
- Eat healthily and regularly – and think about when and what you are eating
- Try out some mindfulness app – they are often free and can help teach you some tools to help
- Don’t isolate yourself – isolation can make you feel worse and social contact is important; balance is key
- Most importantly – be kind to yourself; it is okay not to be okay.
There is never a better time to have a conversation then now, so take the time to talk and to listen.
If you are 17 and a half years old and older, living in Northamptonshire, you can register yourself to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) find out more by heading to nhft.nhs.uk/iapt
If you are in Crisis and need a safe, friendly ear then NHFT and Mind charity have created county-wide Crisis Cafes. Find the most up to date timetable on nhft.nhs.uk/crisis-cafe