Your First Step Forward Is Talking

As human beings we were born to be socially active and socialising can provide several benefits to your physical and mental health. These positive benefits can be powerful and supportive. However, the first step forward when we are struggling, is to actually talk to someone about whatever is going on for you.

Taking that first step and talking about the fact that you are experiencing mental/emotional distress can be daunting. Perhaps you feel embarrassed, awkward or even ashamed of ‘admitting’ to it, due to stigma and/or being labelled. Please know that you are not alone and that talking to someone you trust or accessing a professional counsellor, is a very important step to enable you to voice your thoughts and feelings in a safe space.

So What Should I DO?

There is no need to tell anyone about what you are experiencing if you don’t feel comfortable with it. You mustn’t feel pressured by anyone into talking, and there is no one specifically that you ‘must’ tell. But all the coping strategies, tools and techniques in the world, will not be anywhere near as effective or work at all, until you are supported by taking that first step and speaking with someone.

Find a way to accept this and that it will probably be the hardest thing you ever do. For many, there may be an element of relief almost immediately and for others it can be the start of a long journey towards recovery. The key thing to remember though, is that however you feel once you’ve spoken to someone, you have taken that essential first step and should be SO proud of yourself.

Are you ok Mental Health First Aid Oxford

Though it can feel daunting and difficult at first to approach and talk to someone, please remember as the old BT advert used to say “It’s good to talk”. It is also both important and safe for you to talk. Below are some pointers to help you take that first step in reaching out to talk:

Identify who you trust: This might be a work colleague, a friend or family member. Get in touch with them and ask if they are free to talk as you need some support and feel able to trust them with this.

Professional support: It may feel easier to talk to someone who doesn’t know you at work or home, so do consider speaking with your GP, a counsellor or local support group in your area. This is also worthwhile doing alongside a person you trust to maximise the support available to you.

Below are some real life videos taken from our 2018 mental health campaign #realmentalk. The short videos contain men and women sharing their own personal stories and talking was a key part of their journey to recovery. It is vital for us all to voice the importance of individuals talking about mental health rather than being embarrassed or ignoring it.

Remember your success rate for getting through bad days so far is 100%

Take a deep breath, speak to someone and make your first step toward getting support. You are not alone, though it might feel it at times. Until you make a step forward, nothing’s going to change and the loneliness will stay with you, but take that step and ask for help.

#real men talk

We released six videos per week, of every day ‘Real’ men and women from around the UK, including: Town Mayors, Councillors, Businessmen and Veterans. They talk of their own personal thoughts, opinions, challenges and experiences of mental health, mental illness including: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Suicide.

The videos began on Monday 10 September (World Suicide Awareness Day) running through to Wednesday 10 October (World Mental Health Day). Over this period of time we;

  • Released 24 videos over four weeks

  • Reached over 100,000 people

  • Saved two people who were suicidal (we’ve been told of)

  • Changed the lives of several others (learned via messages received)

  • Touched the hearts of thousands.

Below are a small selection of videos from the #realmentalk campaign. These are ones that we feel are most relevant to those who might be reading this page looking for Self-Care and Self-Help, hints, tips, suggestions and inspiration. We hope you find it useful.

#RealMenTalk - Day One

#RealMenTalk - Day Four

#RealMenTalk - Impact On Partners

#RealMenTalk - Reflection