Starting conversations

Speech bubblesIf you are worried about your mental health or wellbeing, it can be really useful to talk to someone you trust, whether that is a friend, relative, GP or someone else. This may seem difficult, but it’s the best way to start moving forwards.

Talking about how you feel isn’t always easy. It can be hard to know what to say first or describe how you feel, but it can be a big help to share your feelings with someone who cares. You might not explain it all perfectly, but that doesn't matter – what's important is just that you start the conversation.

Who should I talk to?

Different people can help you in different ways depending on what you need, from someone to just listen, to someone who can offer you professional advice or treatment. You could talk to:

  • A friend or relative you trust
    If you choose to talk to someone close to you, it can help to make a plan for a time when you have them to yourself – invite them for coffee, go for a walk or get together for lunch.
  • Your GP
    Starting a conversation about mental health with your GP might seen daunting, but they are there to help you. Your GP can also decide if it would help you to speak to a trained professional such as a counsellor or therapist. If you aren't registered with a GP, use the NHS Find GP Services tool to find your nearest one
  • Another professional or expert
    This might be a teacher or someone you know and trust outside of school. You can also find local organisations who might help in our What's In Dorset for Me? guide
  • Childline
    Childline have a free, confidential phone line – you can call them on 0800 11 11 at any time

What do I say?

Before you talk to someone about your feelings, it can help if you plan what you want to say. Here’s a few ideas for making this easier.

  • Try writing down everything you'd like the person that you're talking to to know. The following headers might help:
    I feel...
    I wish...
    I think...
    I need...
    I hope...
  • Doc Ready’s check list can help you to think of and remember everything you want to talk with your doctor about.
    (Privacy info: Doc Ready doesn’t store anything that they or anyone else can link to you. We recommend you read the full privacy info).
  • If you don’t want to write anything down, recording your feelings on a voice recorder app to play back can help.

Be prepared for different reactions:

  • A doctor or other expert will ask you lots of questions.
  • Someone who’s close to you may not quite know how to react at first, so give them a moment; they might not be expecting what you’re telling them. This article from Rise Above could help them.
  • has some ideas to help you handle different reactions.

Your doctor can provide professional help and guidance about the way you’re feeling. Alternatively, Childline have a free, confidential phone line – you can call them on 0800 11 11 at any time