There is no right way to talk about mental health but these tips below are taken from the Time to Talk website https://timetotalkday.co.uk/tips-to-talk/ can help make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way.
1. Ask questions and listen
Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental, like “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?”
2. Think about the time and place
Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face so if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you’re doing something else you could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic however don’t let the search for the perfect please put you off.
3. Don’t try and fix it
It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.
4. Treat them the same
When someone has a mental health problem they’re still the same person as they were before and that means that when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple do the things you’d normally do.
5. Be patient
No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s OK – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.