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Updated: Feb 2

Time to talk day took place on the 1st February this year and so may very well have taken place by the time you read this blog, but talking about your feelings or encouraging others to open up about their mental health is something that can really make a difference on any day of the year.

Talking Helps

When you bottle things up they don’t just go away, they can fester and build up over time become overwhelming perhaps resulting in an emotional outburst or breakdown. Talking not only validates our feelings but can actually lower the intensity of them. Studies have shown that putting feelings into words (called affect labelling) can reduce the overall intensity of them.

When you start to open up and talk to another person about your problems it may start to give you a different perspective on things even before the other person responds as you may start to look at the problem in a different way as others may see it.

Without verbalising your problems, thoughts and feelings it can be impossible for anyone to understand what is wrong and seek to help you.

Why don’t we talk?

Talking can make us feel uncomfortable, some people think it shows weakness because they aren’t perhaps able to sort out things for themselves.

For others they don’t want to seem ‘needy’ or to burden others with their problems. Some may believe that they will be laughed at or not understood or told that they are wrong.

Approached in the right way talking will always help, finding the right person to talk to and starting the conversation is the most difficult part.

Who can I talk to?

Finding someone to talk to may not be as difficult as you think, if you have a supportive partner, relative, close friend, tutor or colleague they will always want to help you, they just need to know that you are struggling with something and that you want to talk. Tell them that you have something on your mind and you would appreciate it if you could offload to them, you can say you don’t expect them to fix things for you but that just sharing would help.

However if that feels too intimidating or you are worried about sharing something very personal you can talk to a mental health practitioner, a counsellor, your GP/Talking therapies team or click the link to find a mental health helpline.

If we are your EAP you can also speak to us here at People at Work, our first responders are available 24/7 to listen to you about anything. You can simply get things off your chest or we can arrange for you to speak to one of our experienced counsellors or help you to find the right support. If your work is being affected you might also consider talking to your manager, Occupational Health team

What if I am worried about someone else?

You may have noticed a change in someone’s behaviour, they may be withdrawn or easily upset. You may be aware of some difficulties they are currently facing, or it might just be a gut feeling.

Time to Talk & Samaritans have lots of tips to start conversations and help someone open up.

Of course there is a chance that the person you are talking to may reveal something which may be shocking or distressing and again Samaritans has some tips to help with this, remember it is important to look after your own mental health and if you find things too upsetting it is absolutely ok to take a step back.


Talking doesn’t always bring a solution to a particular problem or situation but just by sharing your feelings with someone and knowing that you aren’t dealing with things alone can take a great weight off your shoulders and that in itself can make a huge improvement to you and your mental health and wellbeing

Talk confidentially to a People at Work first responder and find out how we can be part of your wellbeing support.

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