Time To Talk Day: The Power of Words

Two years ago I published my very first blog post on Time To Talk Day. Even in two years things have changed markedly.  Thankfully, in schools, the workplace and online we seem much more open to discussing topics like mental health, wellbeing and self-care.  There is still work to be done but progress is being made.

Time to TalkDay 2018  promo material

In 2016 in my classroom Time To Talk Day was about trying to combat the stigma then (and to a certain extent still) attached to mental health by highlighting facts like:

  • 16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness.
  • Three in four mental illnesses start in childhood.
  • 10% of school children have a diagnosable mental illness.

Shocking facts but ones that the young people in my classroom are fairly well versed in now.

So this year I picked up on the Time To Change charity’s message about the power of small conversations making a BIG difference and decided to promote this idea.  The students talked about hopes and fears common to people their age and also shared tips for wellbeing.  It was lovely to hear the conversations evolve.

It got me thinking.

Which seemingly small conversation has, with hindsight, made a big difference to me?

What has been said to me over the years which seemed innocuous and insignificant at the time, yet has had a important and positive impact?

And so I recalled a very dear friend speaking to me nearly twenty years ago and saying:

” I’m worried about you.  Recently you’ve lost the sparkle from your eyes. “

Even though it was said, almost in passing, so long ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.  We were in the university library.  At a table by a window with the rain pouring down outside.  I remember it so vividly because I remember the feelings it brought about.  A knowledge crept in that someone cared about me.

Someone had noticed my sadness and upset and had taken the time to show concern.

Someone wanted to help.

And so those few word left me feeling a little better.  They gave me a lift.  They spurred me on to accept some help and support.

Over the years I have used those words as a marker to measure my mental wellbeing (and also that of the people around me).

Has the sparkle gone?

Has it gone momentarily?

Or has it been missing awhile?

Do I need to seek out some help again just as I had been encouraged to that day?

Or do I need to support someone else in doing so?

And so I’m hoping the message from my little anecdote is clear.

We can all help each other.

I’m talking about those quickly fitted in chats, the squeezed in conversations into a busy day.

Small conversations can make a BIG difference.

Thank you to my lovely friend who looks out for me and so many other people in her life. You know who you are. 

handwritten Hayley

29 Comments

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 2, 2018 / 8:25 pm

      Thank you for the kind words and sharing on Twitter xx

  1. February 3, 2018 / 8:28 am

    I love this post. So important. I have shared everywhere!
    Xxx
    #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 3, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Awwww thank you so much xx

  2. February 3, 2018 / 11:09 am

    a little bit of empathy, a little more open mindedness , and an extra dash of compassion. When i was struggling i had friends who would just come and sit… we didn’t necessarily talk we were just companionably together with an open door to dialogue . #thesatsesh

  3. Vicky
    February 3, 2018 / 11:20 am

    It’s so important to talk and share. Sometimes just a quick text from a friend is all that’s needed. A lovely post on such an important subject xx
    #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 3, 2018 / 7:53 pm

      Thanks Vicky. xx

  4. February 3, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    Really important topic great that it’s been shared so widely this year #thesatsesh

  5. February 3, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    My soon to be adopted daughter came to us through foster care and has PTSD. Most times it is fine but it is something we keep in the back of her head. We are being proactive and see professional help. It does not define her but makes her who she is. #thatsaturdayseesh

  6. February 3, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    This story so skillfully encapsulates the important message both of looking after our friends and letting them look after us. I’m so glad your friend helped you and now you’re sharing that experience to help other people too. x #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 3, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      Thanks Nicole xx

  7. February 3, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    This is a great post with such an important message. Mental health is so important to talk about and while people are generally more open about it now, some are still reluctant to talk about things. #thesatsesh

  8. February 3, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    Good on you for talking with your students about this- so important. It is so good to see that even in the past few years people have started to be more open about discussing mental health- days like this are really important to highlight it, too. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 3, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Thanks Jenny xx

  9. February 3, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    It’s the small things that can make such a difference. It’s so important to be open and to talk and knowing someone really cares can mean the world.

  10. mackenzieglanville
    February 4, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I am glad you had that person to watch out for you and to care enough to ask. No one asked me, no one seemed to notice as I got worse until I was really bad. Luckily I figured it out for myself and sought help. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 5, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      I’m so sorry Mac that you had to go through this but well done you for figuring it out and getting help. I’m sure you are the stronger for it. Much love xx

  11. February 4, 2018 / 8:51 am

    I just love the idea behind the Time for Talk campaign. The support of my friends and being to talk openly with people at the moment is a massive help to me. I’d love to develop this at school and must take a look at the materials. Thank you for hosting 🌸 #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 5, 2018 / 7:43 pm

      Yes it is a really excellent charity and campaign. I’m so pleased you have an excellent support network around you Catie – take care xx

  12. February 4, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    This is so beautiful. The smallest things really can make such a huge difference x
    #Thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 5, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Thanks Alana xx

  13. Pile o Books
    February 5, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    Love this and completely agree that it is often a small thing, said with care and love, or sometimes just an observation, but without pressure that sometimes makes more of a difference than a big deep and meaningful session. As an overthinker, sometimes the longer a conversation the more I can tie up in knots. This really made me ponder the small but important sentences or questions people have said to me over the years that made a big positive difference and how grateful I am to them.

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 5, 2018 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks Lauren for the lovely comment and you have beautifully articulated what I was trying to reflect upon – I too can tie myself up in knots in a long conversation. You are brilliant at these gentle observations and ‘check-in’ comments so I am sure you have helped many people (including me) over the years xx

  14. February 5, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    #thesatsesh oh how i adore sparkle in all its forms, but through peoples souls is my second fav sparkle (I’m a girl who likes her gem stones)…noticing positives like when people have had a trim or had their roots done can also add a small. Never underestimate the power of small

  15. February 8, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    It’s wonderful that we are increasingly talking about mental health. i’m not sure whether it gets forgotten about still occasionally and time to talk brings it back. #thesatsesh

  16. February 10, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    Aw what a lovely and perceptive friend to spot that you had lost your sparkle. We don’t always realise it ourselves so it’s always good when someone else acknowledges it. Those little conversations really are the ones that count. and the ones that we perhaps disregard at the time. I worry that with technology we will lose all of those conversations, so it’s important that the next generation appreciate their significance.
    #thesatsesh (late as ever!)

  17. February 17, 2018 / 6:33 am

    Yes! Talking doesn’t need to be deep, meaningful and lengthy conversations, but just ‘checking in’ often can make such a huge difference. Great post, thanks. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 17, 2018 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks lovely! xx

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