This year in GM we are focusing on kindness, with the week running from 18 - 24 May.
The focus on kindness is a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having a big impact on people's mental health.
For hints and tips for having positive conversations and helping others during this time see our advice below.
Everyone will be reacting in their own way. You might be feeling down, worried or anxious.
Remember, it is OK to feel like this. These are normal reactions to uncertainty and to challenging times.
This is a chance for us all to focus on our mental health and wellbeing with the view to using everyday hints and tips throughout our life.
It is all about:
- Being kind to others
- Being kind to ourselves
Hints and Tips for having positive conversations and helping others
Avoid offering solutions
Listening to someone’s problems is not always easy – and most of us want to make things better, but this not usually helpful. Avoid fixes such as ‘Have you thought of doing this?’ or ‘You should try that’.
Ask open questions
These are questions that invite someone to say more than ‘yes’ or ‘no’, such as ‘How have you been feeling?’ or ‘What happened next?’
Encourage someone to talk more through phrases such as ‘Tell me more’ or ‘Can you say more about that?’, or through repeating back important words they say.
Give them time
It helps if you let them take the time they need to describe where they are at. Make sure you have time to listen.
Take their feelings seriously
Take whatever they say seriously and without judgment.
Don’t say words that belittle their feelings
You might feel shocked or upset by what someone says, but it’s important not to blame the person for how they are feeling. It may have been a big step to talk to you, and to place their trust in you.
You don’t have all the answers
It’s okay to not know what to say! You’re a human being too and what you’re hearing might be upsetting or confusing. If you don’t know what to say – be honest and tell that person.
Let the person know there is help available and that you care about them
Free Connect 5 E- training
Designed to increase confidence and offers tools to staff including volunteers who might be having conversations about mental wellbeing- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & cc Charlene.email@example.com