Blog. On time to talk day, we want to encourage you to start a conversation about how you’re feeling

February 6, 2020 | Author: Jeremy Gibson

Start a conversation today, it may save a life….

We all have mental health. Sometimes we feel good and sometimes we don’t. The ability to talk about our own mental health and spot the signs others may be struggling are vitally important components in our mental health campaign.

Sadly, at Hospitality Action we are often called upon to provide support to those impacted by a suicide or serious case of self-harm, and we often hear people say things like ‘I never knew they was so depressed’. People are sometimes completely taken by surprise, or perhaps – knew something wasn’t quite right but either didn’t feel it was their place to pry or were unsure what to do. We often encounter people who are deeply saddened and remorseful that they didn’t act when they knew a friend of colleague was struggling.

Watch Nyall's story


Nobody knew the extent of Nyall’s dark thoughts until he first tried to take his own life. In a hard-hitting film his father talks about the pain of losing his son, and calls upon us all to speak out if we’re struggling.

While Nyall’s story may be shocking, it’s one of many tragedies to befall someone in our industry. The first thing to say is that you shouldn’t ever feel guilty about your response a mental health issue, whether your own or somebody else’s. And, if a friend talks to you about their mental health, it’s not your responsibility to protect their well-being if they open-up to you.

What we’d like to do is equip you with the skills to spot the signs, to give you the confidence to make the first step and signpost you to organisations, us included, who can help.

Here are some thoughts on how you can start a conversation

  • Download our free helpsheet packed with helpful tips to help you spot the signs in yourself and others and how to engage in a conversation about feelings or concerns.
  • Show Nyall’s film in your next team meeting and encourage anybody with a concern to approach you, somebody else they trust, or to call us.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect moment - Just build a conversation into the working day. The idea is to normalise conversations about mental health, not over-dramatize them. People are likelier to speak openly when they’re going about their day’s work and don’t feel under scrutiny.
  • It’s okay that you’re not an expert and always call us, your EAP provider or The Samaritans if you’re worried. In an emergency situation there's always a duty psychiatrist at any A&E unit who can make an intervention.
  • Any conversation is good, face to face, a text, WhatsApp or email – what ever seems best in the circumstances

If you’re worried or feel you need additional help call us in complete confidence and free of charge on 0808 802 0282