Breaking the Stigma: How to Talk About Mental Health with Your Family and Friends

April 07, 2023

Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health can be a difficult task, but it’s important to have open and honest conversations about mental health with family and friends. Here are some tips on how to approach this conversation:

  • Start small: Begin by sharing how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. This can help to open up the conversation and make it easier for others to share their own experiences.
  • Use neutral language: When talking about mental health, it’s important to use neutral language that doesn’t stigmatize mental illness. For example, instead of saying someone is “crazy” or “insane,” use more neutral terms like “struggling with a mental health issue” or “dealing with a mental health challenge.”
  • Listen without judgment: When someone shares their experiences with mental health, it’s important to listen without judgment. Avoid offering advice or trying to “fix” the problem. Simply listening can help someone feel heard and understood.
  • Educate yourself: Learn about mental health issues and treatment options. This can help you better understand what your loved one is going through and how to support them.
  • Be patient: Breaking the stigma around mental health can take time. It’s important to be patient and continue to have open and honest conversations with your loved ones.
  • Offer support: Let your loved ones know that you are there to support them. This can mean helping them find a mental health professional, offering to go to appointments with them, or simply checking in to see how they are doing.
  • Normalize seeking help: Talk about seeking help for mental health issues as a normal part of self-care. This can help to reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage others to seek help when they need it.

Remember, taking care of your mental health is important for your overall well-being. Your Employee Assistance Program offers confidential and professional support to help navigate life’s challenges. Learn more about resources available at our member support page.