Learn to talk about what’s going on inside your head.

How do you share your vulnerabilities? How do you reach out and connect, when the impulse to isolate and disconnect is easier and more tempting? How do you support others doing the same?

Sometimes a different viewpoint can change things.

It takes strength to be open and display vulnerability in front of others but the result can be transformative. Raw, open and honest conversations bring out the bravery in yourself and others, fuelling inspiring and empowering discussion and a sense that we can have control over our mental wellbeing.

The feeling that you’re not alone in your struggles, and there are things out there that have helped others can help put you in the driving seat of your own thoughts and emotions.

Choose to open up at a time and environment conducive to you with an individual that you feel can nourish a fresh perspective and not simply a repeat source of short-term assurance seeking.

What most people need and want is space and time to talk about their experiences and to make sense of them. To be listened to mindfully without judgement, assumption and distraction.

Chat with people that allow the patience and comfort required to help you understand experiences in your own way, helping facilitate the development of greater self-awareness, and a reflection on healthier ways to manage wellbeing.

Those that genuinely care tend to clarify understanding and show interest with open questions, allowing responses at your own pace. They don’t put pressure on themselves to solve someone else’s problems, they understand that simply listening can sometimes be enough.

Discuss one issue/one experience at a time, break it down, write it down if it helps.

Support others in exactly the same way. Be aware of your limitations, and if you feel comfortable, instigate discussion about what you feel might be helpful and gently guide people to consider suggestions. This may involve providing companionship on a journey to discover resources, whether they are accessing services, reading materials, groups or guided audio. Be mindful that individuals need to find their own answers and to own the change on their terms. Acknowledge the demonstration of strength shown to display vulnerability in front of others and the compassion displayed supporting others in return.

Powerful conversations stem from a genuine place. Not from something intrusive or scripted but instead born from a calm confidence in your intuition and lived experience.

Your feelings are valid and your support for others is valid too.

What works for you, what doesn’t? Why? What are the triggers, barriers? How did you manage in the past? What would advise a friend? Cut yourself some slack? Do you need to get back to basics?