Saying “I’m fine” is an automatic response when someone asks if I’m okay. This can be for various reasons, I don’t think people actually care, people wouldn’t understand or I don’t want to burden people with how I’m actually feeling.
Mental health is something that still has a stigma around it. How crazy is that?! Like still in this day and age we cannot talk about how we feel without the fear of being ridiculed or shamed. I know that’s not the case everywhere and it is starting to stop but it is still the main reason people say “I’m fine”.
Asking twice is where this comes into play. If you know someone is going through a hard time or is just not acting their usual selfs, let them know you’re there for them. “Are you sure you’re okay?” Or “okay, how are you really feeling?” are two phrases I’ve used but have also been asked myself. It’s scary to open up, and honestly sometimes I do feel like if I keep everything to myself it may miraculously go away. Side note: it doesn’t. It gets worse and you can feel like you are spiralling.
Remember you don’t have to know all the answers or any answers in fact. Sometimes if you’re worried about asking it can be because you don’t know the right thing to say (I’ve definitely been there and always try to avoid foot in mouth situations). By being able to ask twice and just listening it lets the person know you’re taking them seriously and that you want to listen to them.
To find out more about Time to Change’s campaign you can click here.
Remember, be kind to everyone you meet. You don’t know what people are going through.