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Embrace the AWKWARD: Let's talk mental health

Yesterday, as many of us would have seen, was Time to Talk Day in the UK.

This nationally recognised event aims to encourage more open conversations about mental health, and to help those affected feel more confident and supported in getting the help they need to cope with their condition.

With research showing that 3 in 10 people in the UK feel they CANNOT discuss their mental health with friends or family for fear of judgment, it goes to show that initiatives such as this have never been more needed.

Arguably, one of the main obstacles to be overcome in remedying these statistics, is the fear of AWKWARDNESS that comes with speaking openly about mental health.

The dread of a tumbleweed moment, a change in atmosphere or even feigned sympathy can be enough to keep too many of us tight lipped about our innermost worries, concerns and emotional state.

Feeling ill at ease sharing problems openly - because of this fear of awkwardness - can not only compound the burden of the problem itself, but also create an obstacle to potential solutions, and ultimately a happier, healthier state of mind.

For this reason, ‘embracing the awkward’ has become a national movement. Quite rightly, it recognises that overcoming a fear of awkwardness is as much about those affected finding a confidence to speak, as it is those around them learning how to respond. More specifically, learning how to exude a presence that smothers this very fear from the offset, in the moments that matter most.

In an era where the prime directive is to ‘be happy’ and ‘be positive’, regaining the right to think that life is hard sometimes, and to say as much, might go some way towards making mental health less about the AWKS, and more about the TALKS!

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