All it takes is just a friendly conversation with a work colleague or friend to make a difference in how they are feeling, and that's what Time to Talk Day is all about
Hong Kong is a fast-paced global city known for its ‘work hard, play hard’ culture. Pairing long hours at the office with late nights sampling the thousands of bars and restaurants Hong Kong has to offer becomes the norm for many people living here. Unfortunately, this lifestyle can quickly take its toll on your mental health.
Why do we need Time to Talk Day?
As a clinical psychologist, I regularly come into contact with people who are experiencing low mood and anxiety. When our mental health is affected by stress and life circumstances, it has an impact on our ability to see situations in a balanced way. Our thoughts become distorted and we start to interpret things in an overwhelmingly negative way. This affects the way we see ourselves, the world and other people. People may believe that they are “pathetic” or “weak” for struggling to manage when they are feeling low. Increased anxiety can lead people to fear judgement from others, assuming that they will be laughed at or rejected for talking about the way they are feeling.
It takes a lot for someone to reach out for support when they are feeling depressed and anxious, and many people do not tell anyone how they are feeling. They may go to great lengths to appear as though they are coping to avoid having to admit that there is anything wrong. Unfortunately, these efforts are often exhausting in themselves, and can contribute to a vicious cycle which keeps mood low or maintains high levels of anxiety. By reaching out to someone, you could be giving them the encouragement they need to seek support. A small nudge from a friend, family member or co-worker can make a huge difference to someone’s wellbeing.
Take part on 1 February, 2018
Mind Hong Kong is passionate about reducing the stigma around talking about mental health. As part of this, they are supporting Time to Talk day on 1 February, a global initiative that encourages people to talk about their mental health. This includes talking about how to maintain good mental health – often, conversations about how we are feeling only happen when we or someone we care about is experiencing poor mental health. Time to Talk day gives us all a timely reminder that it is never too soon to reach out to someone.
You can find ideas about how to get involved, as well as resources to give you ideas about how to talk to someone about their mental health on the Time to Talk Day website. You can also share your involvement on 1 February, 2018 using the hashtags #timetotalkday #timetotalkdayhk #mindhk.