Get the conversation going and change a life on Time to Talk Day
‘Hey! How’s it going’ is sometimes all it takes to start a conversation about how someone’s feeling. It can be the perfect prompt to talk about mental health or money related worries.
Money worries and mental health are inextricably linked – with one in four people experiencing mental health problems in their lifetime. Of those living with mental health problems, almost one in five simultaneously experience problem debt. And almost half of those with problem debt say it has affected their mental health.
Our figures certainly support this. Last month, 65% of the people we helped needed extra support, with 43% citing their mental health as a factor and a half saying they were suffering with depression.
Many felt the weight had been lifted after speaking with our advisers and finding a solution to their money problems, but we had to refer a further 23% on to other specialist mental health organisations for further support.
That’s why on Time to Talk Day (2 February), we’re encouraging everyone to start a conversation. Use the day as an excuse to ask your friends, families, and colleagues how they’re feeling. You never know, the chat could help transform their lives.
Here’s some ways to get the conversation going
Choose an environment where the person you’re speaking to feels comfortable. Make sure it’s relatively quiet so you won’t be distracted or interrupted. E.g. you could:
- Go for a nice walk in a park
- Catch up for a coffee
- Go for a drive – conversations sometimes flow better when you don’t have to look at each other directly
- Do an activity together you both enjoy such as football or fishing so that you can talk without it being intense
Start the conversation by saying you’ve noticed that they don’t seem themselves and describe the changes you’ve noticed in their mood and behaviour.
Tell them you’re worried about them and asks what’s bothering them. Make them aware you’re always there for them and they can speak to you whenever they like.
Listen carefully to what they’re saying. Encourage them to talk about what’s going on and how they’re feeling. Try not to speak over them or interrupt while they’re speaking. Wait for them to finish before you ask any questions and don’t belittle their feelings.
Try to use positive body language to show you understand how they’re feeling, such as maintaining eye contact or nodding your head to show you understand. Making statements such as ‘I understand’ can reinforce you’re paying attention and they’re not alone.
The most important thing you can do is to listen and show understanding. Don’t try to offer advice or solutions if that’s not what they’re looking for. You don’t need to have the answers – just listening is enough.
It’s also important not to share anything they’ve told you unless you’re concerned that they may be at risk of hurting themselves.
Here are some organisations that can provide more help and support
If someone’s mental health is being affected by problem debt, contact us for free, confidential support and advice. And remember, there’s always a solution to money worries – the right one will depend on the person’s circumstances.
Here’s what some of the people we’ve helped have said about how getting the conversation going about their money worries has changed their lives.
Talking about your situation is always hard, but I would 100% recommend.
“The service was really fantastic, and I truly felt heard. I spoke to an advisor called Amaan and he truly took his time and walked me through all of the available options and advised me accordingly and professionally. It was honestly hard to take that first step, but talking really does help, and this company really does gives you the best advice for your individual circumstance and it is done with understanding and compassion. Truly grateful my journey led me to Money Wellness, thank you to Amaan and the entire team.”
It was nice to talk to someone about my money problems
“Took a lot of stress off me.”
“They are a god save they have given me my life back no more worrying they talked me through everything and I didn’t feel pressure I can’t thank them enough thank you.”
Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.
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