Let's Get Talking

Today is Time to Talk Day (TTTD) – the nation’s biggest mental health conversation.

Mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Health run the day in partnership with the Co-op to encourage friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and connect.

NIDAS is joining the call for people to talk, particularly if they are affected by domestic abuse.

An Office for National Statistics study carried out back in 2014 estimated the overall cost of domestic abuse to mental healthcare at £176 million, and one can only imagine how much that will have gone up.

It’s no surprise either that domestic abuse is associated with depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

These facts and figures stress the need for people to talk about it. But we’re very aware of how difficult it is for those affected by domestic abuse to have the courage to tell someone.

Often the first person they will talk to is a close friend or family member. There’s plenty of advice online for friends and family, but we thought we’d use TTD to highlight a few key points to help with what might be one of the most important conversations you ever have.

Vital as part of showing you care is stressing that you believe what you are being told. Perpetrators often say to those they are abusing that nobody will believe them if they say they’re being abused.

The feeling that someone does believe will bring a huge sense of relief after what could be months or even years of feeling nobody cares and nobody will believe.

Acknowledge how brave they are to have told you. If they get support from you it might, even if it takes a bit of time, give them the confidence to tell others, including organisations like NIDAS.

It’s important also to think about why they have decided to tell you, and there’s no harm in asking, as part of the conversation, what they would like you to do.

They have definitely realised they need some reassurances, maybe that they are not to blame and probably that there are people who care about them. It might be that they are testing if they will be believed; and it might be that they want practical help such as someone to find them contact details for support services such as ours.

Different people decide to talk for different reasons, and you must never guess what these might be. Do what your friend asks, never decide for them that they should leave or take any other specific action.

If nothing else this Time to Talk Day, remember the difference a conversation can make.

To talk with us, call 01623 683250.