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about mental health

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
My friend at school is doing a journalism course and has to interview someone as one of her assignments. She asked me if I would be interviewed about mental health illnesses as that was one of 3 options she was given.
I am not to sure how to approach this though.
My Dad has mental health issues. When I was younger and we all lived together it was a nightmare. We didn't realise how ill he was till he went away. I also have many signs the same as he. I think this is why she asked me.
How do I easily describe mental health to someone that is short enough to be put in a good article, but long enough to explain it well? Also, any tips on how I should approach the interview?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey lostangel :wave:

    Sounds like you're feeling a bit apprehensive having agreed to do this which is totally understandable so it's good to be thinking about things in advance.

    Are you able to find out from your friend an outline of the interview questions so that you can prepare a bit and think about what you might want to say?

    Our article on 'how to talk about your mental health' is coming from an advice angle but it has some interesting snippets that might be useful for this as well, for example:
    Putting your feelings into words is sometimes difficult, and you may be worried you’ll say the wrong thing or explain it badly. Take time to think about what you want them to know.

    “Think about how much you want to share and how quickly,” says Helen. “Only say what feels comfortable.”

    Try writing down a few of the thoughts and feelings you’ve had so you’re prepared. Print off some online factsheets or articles, like ours, that you can give to people to help them understand. Remember, those who haven’t ever struggled themselves often won’t know much about mental health problems; it may take a while to explain.

    You might be tempted to blurt out everything to the first person you tell – especially if you’ve been holding it in for so long. But only do this if you know you won’t regret it. Being honest is great, but it can also leave us feeling vulnerable afterwards. Decide beforehand exactly how much you want to share.

    Here's the link: http://www.thesite.org/mental-health/looking-after-yourself/how-to-talk-about-your-mental-health-5622.html

    There's a good point there about making sure you have something planned afterwards if it does leave you feeling a bit vulnerable or emotional.

    Do you know where you're going to have the interview? If it's face to face then it would be worth thinking about a place where you feel safe and comfortable and where you wont be overheard.

    It would also be worth asking if you will/can be kept anonymous in her assignment - i.e she doesn't mention your full name if you'd rather that's not in there.

    These are just a few ideas.. hope it helps and good luck with it, let us know how you get on :)
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