Talking About Mental Health

Talking about our mental health problems is the first step in getting the right support. Our blog looks at how to spot mental health issues and where to find help.


Talking about our mental health problems is the first step in getting the right support. Our blog looks at how to spot mental health issues and where to find help.

With statistics indicating that a quarter of people in the UK experience some kind of mental health problem every year, it’s something that is likely to affect us directly or indirectly at some point in our lives. So, why do we find it so hard to talk about?

The stigma that has surrounded mental health issues is probably the main reason people have been reluctant to share their experiences, but attitudes are starting to shift. High-profile projects, like the Samaritans’ annual Talk to Us campaign in July, are instrumental in encouraging us all to recognise the importance of talking about how we feel and reaching out for help if we’re struggling with a mental health problem.

How do I know if I have a mental health problem?

Life is full of ups and downs, so it can sometimes be hard for us to recognise that we might be having mental health issues. It’s perfectly normal to feel low or anxious sometimes but when that feeling is extreme or becomes a regular and pervasive feature of everyday life, it’s time to take notice.

Everyone is different, so will have their own unique experience and set of symptoms. However, changes in someone’s usual behaviour are usually a good indicator that something isn’t quite right. Things like having trouble sleeping, becoming withdrawn, a lack of energy and enthusiasm, being easily irritated or upset, having trouble concentrating or regularly self-medicating can be signs that someone might be struggling to cope mentally.

If you think you or someone you know might have a mental health issue, the Mind website has really useful information pages on the most common types of mental health problems. The NHS Mood Self-assessment Quiz can also help you identify if you might be suffering from anxiety or depression.

How can I get support?

The most important thing to do is tell someone! Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a colleague or manager at work, your GP or a counsellor – find someone you trust and feel comfortable sharing your feelings with. If that person can’t give you the support you want, it’s really important to turn to someone else who can. Organisations that are always there to listen and can help you get the support you need include:

If you’re worried about someone else’s mental health but don’t know how to approach the subject with them, the Samaritans also have some great ‘SHUSH tips’ on how you can start the conversation and be a good listener.

Whatever you may be going through, it’s important to remember that there’s no shame in acknowledging that you‘re finding it hard to cope and reaching out for help. You’re not alone. In fact, as mental health issues are so common, you may be surprised at how many other people identify with your feelings and life experiences.

Supporting the Wandsworth Community

As a home care agency, we don’t just take care of people’s physical health, we support their mental health too. We understand that life has its challenges, that’s why we encourage our staff and our customers to talk to us when they are finding things hard.

Whether we can help people ourselves or liaise with other agencies to get them the support they need, the Bluebird Care Wandsworth team is always here to support our staff, our customers and our community across South London.

To find out more about our care at home services, get in touch.