You don’t need special training to have an open, authentic conversation about mental health – and often, just talking about it can be the first important step in understanding where someone is with their mental health, and helping them get support or treatment if needed.
Here are some thoughts to consider that might come up with the people in your life as you have the conversation:
Let people know you’re willing to talk about mental health.
What can you say to someone you think may be struggling?
The timing doesn’t have to be perfect.
What if they hesitate?
Would they be more comfortable talking to someone else?
What if they tell you they really are having a hard time?
Guidance on each of these areas is available from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.