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Starting Conversations

It can be incredibly hard to talk about mental health and especially hard to ask for help.  Putting our feelings into words isn’t always easy.

Some people feel embarrassed or awkward. Others feel scared about what might happen to them or someone else if they open up and talk. It can be hard to know where to start, what to say first, how to properly describe what’s going on.

BUT talking is really important.

Sharing how we’re feeling with someone who cares about us can really help.

Who might you talk to?

Different people help in different ways. You may need someone just to listen or you may need someone who can provide you with professional advice and treatment.

Someone close to you

Have a think about who cares about you. This might be someone in your life who supports you already or could support you if you felt able to talk to them.

A professional or expert

TidyMinds has put together lots of information about support available to young people in Swansea & Neath Port Talbot.

Your GP can also help work out if it would be helpful to talk to a trained professional such as a counsellor or therapist.

If you are really concerned about your mental health you or someone who supports you can contact the CAMHS Single Point of Contact.

Someone online

Sharing your feelings online can, for some people, be easier than sharing them with someone face-to-face. Sadly there are people online who can take what you share and be unhelpful or hurtful so take some time to decide where might be the safest place.

There are several online services specially designed for young people. Childline’s Message Board has measures in place to make sure your information is confidential and users respect one another.

What might you talk about?

Before you talk to someone it might help to make a plan of what you want to say. TidyMinds gives some suggestions on ways to make this easier.

Planning what to say +

  • Break it down. Write a list with the following headings; I Feel, I Wish, I Think, I Need, I Hope. See what comes to mind when you write down each one.
  • DocReady have put together some tools that will help you prepare for the first time you visit a doctor to discuss your mental health.
  • If writing things down seems too hard consider recording your feelings. Most mobile phones have this function or there are voice recorder apps.

Different Reactions +

  • A doctor or other professional may ask you lots of questions.
  • If you’ve decided to share your feelings with someone who cares about you they may not know how to react at first. Give them a little time; what you’ve shared may come as a shock to them. (You might like to suggest the Rise Above website to them which provides information on how to comfort a friend in need).
  • Time-to-change offers some ideas to help you cope with different reactions.

Useful Links


DocReady have put together some tools that will help you prepare for the first time you visit a doctor to discuss your mental health.


Time to Change – Understanding different reactions

It can help to understand why you might have different reactions when you talk about how you feel.

Time to Change

Time to Change – supporting someone you know

Some useful information and tips on supporting someone you know.

Time to Change

Rise Above

Advice on how to comfort a friend in need.

Rise Above

Find a GP near you

Enter your postcode to find a GP surgeries close to you.

Find a GP

What’s in Swansea for me?

Take a look through the services in Swansea to see if one might be right for you.

What’s in Swansea for me?

What’s in Neath Port Talbot for me?

TidyMinds have put together a list of services in Neath Port Talbot that might be helpful to you.

What’s in Neath Port Talbot for me?