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Use small talk to help someone in need

Recognising the importance of having a short conversation (small talk) with someone can interrupt their suicidal thoughts and really make a difference. The Samaritans together with Network Rail have a campaign: Small talk saves lives. It aims to empower people to use small talk to save lives. This is something we can all do. A short powerful video introduces the concept, and there is other useful information that expands on this.

Here at Jonathan’s Voice we promote the importance of talking to someone to help make a difference to their mental well-being. This could be a friend, a work colleague or a stranger. You might feel this is “not your place” but you have nothing to lose. Sometimes it may be easier to talk with a stranger. I can vouch for this. I was on a train sitting opposite a girl who looked very tired, stressed and anxious. She was talking to a senor colleague about the work challenges she was facing. As I prepared to go, I just said, “It’s hard sometimes isn’t it?” Her distress was immediate and very apparent to her colleague who quickly made a decision about what to do next and it wasn’t to attend the planned meeting in London. I hope she found the support and help she clearly needed.

This video may help to give you the confidence to start a conversation.

Val McCartney

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