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Talking shows strength – let's all Just Talk

We all have mental health. We should be able to talk about it in the same way we talk about physical health.

Ups and downs are a normal part of all of our lives. It shows strength to talk about how you’re feeling when things are becoming tough.

Most boys and young men in Herts already think it’s OK to talk about their mental health, but sometimes they aren’t sure how to go about it.

Talking to people you trust and seeking help early means you are less likely to become unwell – if you keep putting it off it will probably get harder.

There is support available and we know it can really help you. Life is so busy and we spend a lot of time thinking about the things that worry us. It’s also important to think about the things that make us feel happier.

When struggling, the most popular things that boys and young men in Hertfordshire do to cope and feel better include physical activity and sport, spending time with friends, listening to music, and video gaming. There are lots of other things you could try too.

Most importantly: Just Talk.
Join the conversation on socials using #JustTalk - why not print out the poster here and make your own #JustTalk video? Create a story board for a #JustTalk film and win £100! Details are here.

The Five ways to wellbeing are simple things that we can all do to improve our emotional health and wellbeing:

  • Connect
  • Be active
  • Take notice
  • Keep learning
  • Give

Connect: Spend time with family and friends.  Enjoy doing things together and talking to each other.

Be active:  It keeps you physically healthy, and makes you feel good

Keep learning: Try something new. Try a new hobby, or learn about something just because it interests you.

Take notice: Take a break to see how you feel. Relax and look around you or listen to music, take a few deep breaths.

Give: Do something for a friend or relation/adult, as well as making them feel good, it can make you feel good too!       

There are some more feel good tips from young people and experts here.

If you're worried about a friend or your brother or sister, you may have noticed some changes in them.

They might be:

  • Being more anxious, irritable or angry than usual
  • Unable to concentrate or take decisions
  • Isolating themselves – not seeing their friends, dropping out of school or activities that they previously enjoyed
  • Appearing suspicious of friends and family
  • Being overly focused on certain things or being a perfectionist
  • Not eating or looking after themselves
  • Having disrupted sleep – which can mean not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much.

If you are concerned that someone is developing a mental health problem, there are things you can do to help them, including:

  • Encouraging them to talk about how they are feeling
  • Listening to them in a non-judgmental, non-critical way
  • Taking things at their pace
  • Reassuring them that you are taking what they say seriously
  • Offering to go with them to get further advice or information.

There's lots more advice on supporting a friend or sibling here on Rethink's website.

It can be hard to know what to say when friends come to you with problems or when you think they may be struggling.
Epic Friends is great for tips on how to look out for your friends or visit www.samaritans.org.uk or call 116 123.

See also Worried about a friend's post? Here's what to do