We are often reminded that we need to ask twice how someone is if we are concerned about them. But how else can we encourage conversations?

Air freshener prompts

With this in mind we developed our new Let’s Get Talking resource, in the form of an air freshener for your vehicle. Request yours here.

Why an air freshener? Just like our vehicles need freshening up, so do we. Talking is just one way to help us feel fresher.

Over 1,000 air fresheners have already been given away and there is still time to pick one up at the following events:

Right Place, Right Time

Finding the right time to talk can be hard. I am sure we can all recollect putting off conversations because it never felt like the right time. Well… there never is a right time, it might always be difficult, but it could save a life.

The place you choose can help you and them feel more comfortable.

  • Do something that you know you both enjoy, be it a walk, a sport, cooking, or a hobby. Even the journey driving somewhere can be a great place to talk
  • Look for quieter, less busy places so that it is easy to hear each other
  • Try not to be confrontational instead be interested and enquiring
  • Consider who else is around
  • Outdoor, open spaces often help us feel more relaxed and therefore more likely to open up
  • Sitting opposite each other can be intimidating, try being side by side

Are you okay?

We all know, hopefully, that we may need to ask twice to get past the I’m fine response. But how else can we approach checking in with someone?

  • If you have noticed changes let the person know. Be specific about what you have noticed and let them know you are concerned.
  • If there was a specific situation that worried you let them know what it was and why it worried you.
  • Check in regularly and keep it natural. Regularly asking shows you are serious and that you are there for them.
  • Let them know you are available if they do want to talk.

You can’t make someone feel worse by saying the wrong thing. Saying something about your concerns is important and can make a real difference, even if you don’t know it.

Is it a good idea to mention suicide?

Absolutely, if you are concerned, being direct and asking how they feel about their future, or if they have thought about harming themselves or ending their life can bring a huge sense of relief to someone who may be having those thoughts.

If they haven’t – you won’t put the idea in their head.

There is lots of good help available.

You matter too

Don’t forget to look after yourself. It can be difficult having these conversations. That’s why it’s important to:

  • create time to reflect and notice how you are feeling
  • know who your support network is, or where you can get support if you need it
  • develop an awareness of your own stress levels and mental health
  • try to make time to do things that you enjoy

We can all do better at talking with each other.

We hope this resource will hang in many vans, trucks, tractor cabs, and cars across East Anglia. Acting as a prompt to encourage people to reflect on how they are feeling themselves, or to talk to the person sitting next to them.

Let’s all practice getting better at talking.