What's on our mind can be the hardest subject. So, what's on yours?
Talking is often the first step in helping ease stress and reduce anxiety. Yet we know that adults often shy away from speaking about children about things that might be worrying them, like climate change, or war.
The latest initiative from ITV and STV’s Britain Get Talking campaign focuses on helping children across the country to share what’s on their minds. Working directly with schools and child psychologists, as well as SAMH, Mind and YoungMinds, the campaign is setting a different kind of homework - for young people to have a proper chat with an adult they trust, on the hardest subject: what’s on their minds.
This powerful rallying cry comes at a time when we’ve never needed it more – a cost of living crisis, a pandemic, and troubling world events, has had a negative impact on our children’s mental health.
Top tips for having difficult conversations
Try having the conversation whilst doing another activity e.g. the washing up.
Start the conversation with open-ended questions like, ‘what’s on your mind today?’
Actively listen and leave room for them to speak. You don’t need to fix all their problems immediately.
Sometimes it helps to share personal stories or experiences to help put them at ease.
If they don’t want to talk, reassure them that the door is always open when they’re ready.
Children and young people
Find out about SAMH's work supporting children and young people's mental health.
Get your school involved
This World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2023, STV’s Britain Get Talking is helping children across the country to open up. Together with teachers and clinical psychologists, we’ve created a piece of homework like no other. A conversation starter for children to take home, designed to help them talk about the hardest subjects on their minds with their parents or trusted adults. Because sharing worries can help ease stress and reduce anxiety.
Are you struggling with your mental health? You are not alone.
There are many services and organisations that can offer you support with mental ill health:
SAMH Information Service
Whether you’re seeking support, are looking for more information for you or someone you love, or if you just want to have chat about mental health, we’re here to help. You can also speak to an advisor through our Live Web Chat which will pop up when an advisor is available.
Available: 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 0344 800 0550
A confidential out of office hours telephone line for people over 16 experiencing low mood, anxiety or depression.
Phone: 0800 83 85 87
A free, private and confidential service for anyone under 19 in the UK.
Available: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Phone: 0800 1111