Time to Talk Day 2023

02/02/2023 | All

Did you know that February 2nd marks the UK’s biggest mental health conversation? Time to Talk Day is a day for friends, families, workplaces and communities to come together to talk, listen and change lives. The more conversations we have, the better life is for everyone! We can all appreciate that talking about our mental health can be difficult, but a conversation has the power to change lives. 

Mental health in the workplace

Discussing our mental health is important  – especially in the workplace. Poor mental health can negatively impact productivity and concentration at work, often making job performance suffer. Although an increasing amount of people are talking about mental health, the stigma attached still makes it something many struggle with. According to the Positive Psychology Coach, a staggering 58% of employees experience anxiety while only 9% of those are seeking mental health support. 

These figures massively highlight the need for us to talk about our mental health in the workplace. This blog will outline some of our top tips to help you spot mental health in the workplace, talk about mental health and give you some great resources to kickstart your Time to Talk Day.

Spotting the signs

Spotting the signs of poor mental health in the workplace can often not be straightforward. For example, you may feel more tired than usual without changing your sleeping pattern, or you may notice that you feel less engaged as usual.

Some things you should look out for:

  • Feeling stressed both during an outside of the workplace 
  • Feeling less motivated 
  • Seeing changes in your productivity 
  • Changes in mood and appetite
  • Increased absenteeism 
  • Feeling less engaged 

Look out for these signs both in yourself and your colleagues. If you notice that your colleagues are displaying some of these signs, it could be a great time to open the conversation to help them feel supported and understood. 

How to start talking about mental health in the workplace

It can be daunting to start conversations about mental health in the workplace, but it doesn’t need to be! Here are some tips for starting the conversation:

Arrange 1-1s with your colleagues

Taking time to talk one-on-one with your colleagues can create that safe and approachable environment that some will need to start their conversation. Particularly with more and more of us working from home, it can be difficult for colleagues to find that time and place to talk about their feelings with colleagues. Schedule one-to-ones with colleagues just to catch up and see how you are getting on. It doesn’t have to be in any way formal! Go for a coffee or a lunch break together – many will feel more comfortable opening up in a more open environment. 

Share your own experiences

A huge part of encouraging people to open up to you is to make yourself relatable. You don’t need to disclose anything too personal, just enough to allow your colleagues to feel understood and comfortable. This will remind them that they aren’t alone in what they are feeling and will encourage them to open up without feeling judged. 

Get used to using open ended questions

We’ve all been there – ‘I’m fine’ is the common answer used by most of us when we don’t want to talk about how we feel! Combatting this is key to opening up conversation about mental health in the workplace. Asking open questions is a great way to avoid this. Rather than ‘Are you ok?’- ask ‘Hey how are you feeling today?’. Instead of ‘How are things?’ – ask ‘you haven’t seemed yourself lately, is there anything I could do to help you out?’. 

What are we doing at i-teachers?

Here at i-teachers, we are using the new year as a great opportunity to put an extra focus on our mental health and wellbeing! The i-teachers team have recently started working with and using the fantastic resources of MYNDUP! 

MYNDUP offers a seamless platform for live, same-day 1-1 video sessions across the mental health spectrum: therapy, counselling, life and career coaching, mindfulness and meditation. They also have a range of webinars to watch at your leisure on a wide range of mental wellbeing topics! Their aim is to make it simpler for everyone to anonymously access a range of tailored, full spectrum mental health support – with a vision of a world where ‘we are Uplifting every MYND, one conversation at a time.’

How to kick start Time to Talk Day in your workplace

There are loads of methods you can use to encourage your employees to get talking. Here are just a few:

  • Lunch and learn – Run a lunch and learn session to teach your colleagues more about mental health and how to talk about their experiences. Mind have some great resources to help you with this.
  • Walk and talk – Side by side conversations can make talking about mental health feel less awkward. Organise a walk and talk event for your colleagues to get out and about on Time to Talk Day.
  • Spread the message- Spread the message to your external audiences. Get talking about mental health online and encourage others to do the same!