Start a Conversation

Collaboration, Learning and Improvement Champion Emma Hughes shared some insights into how to start a conversation today to help promote Time to Talk Day.

Most of us will answer “fine”, even when we’re not, it’s the most common lie we tell.

Too often, mental health problems are treated as a taboo subject: something not to be talked about, especially at work and with 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem this year alone, if a mate says they are fine, they might not be. To really find out, ask twice.

Mental health affects us all and we should feel able to talk about it. There are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health and you don’t have to be an expert to talk, sometimes just listening to someone helps, as portrayed by sadness is the Disney film Inside out (which counsellors are using to help children explore their emotions).  There’s also 5 simple tips on the time to change website.

One in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem and 9 in 10 say they have faced negative treatment from others as a result. By choosing to be open about mental health, we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation around mental health and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone for having a mental health problem.

We took the opportunity to remind our colleagues of the support we have in place to help, either through the Employee Assistance Programmes, Talking Changes or our Mental Health First Aiders.

What else did we do?

The theme of Time to Talk day this year is about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health, so some had cakes and biscuits in the kitchen, to encourage each other to meet for a cuppa and a conversation.


Another area team had a team member share a poignant and personal story about seasonal affected disorder where the person experiences depression every Autumn. The message was positive in that it encouraged colleagues to seek help and that there isn’t a one-size solution, and that it is ok, not to be ok.

We also held mental health first aiders talks in our depots.


Start the conversation