How do we stop stigma? Conversation. Try these simple tips for talking.

Stop the silence

If someone discloses that they have a mental illness, they are opening up to you in a big way. Ask questions, show concern, but keep the awkward silence at bay.

Be nice

It sounds simple enough, but try to say the right things with openness, warmth, caring and sincerity.


The fact that you are there can make a world of difference, so in your conversation, try to err more on the side of listening.

Keep in contact

Offer availability by phone, text, email, or a time to meet up. Just be there.

Don’t ignore it

Don’t be afraid to ask about the well-being of another if you think they might be hurting. Trust your senses.

Offer help

Everyone is different. They may want very specific help or no help at all. Either way, you can always ask and be open to the answer.

Keep the conversation moving

It’s ok to talk about other things to keep silent lulls out of conversation; as long as they know you’re completely open to revisiting the topic later.

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