Almost half of British adults keep their worries and concerns to themselves

It’s an easy enough habit to get into, with the hustle and bustle of life. You get home from work and settle in for an evening with the family. Ah, lovely family time - where we all sit in a room together with the telly on while everyone looks at their phones. Sound familiar?

To encourage people to get talking, mental health charity Mind and biscuit maker McVitie’s have launched the Let’s Talk campaign. New research commissioned for the campaign found that 82% of British adults believe a meaningful conversation with someone about their worries and concerns is beneficial to their mental wellbeing; however, one in five people who live with someone spend 10 minutes or less during a day having meaningful conversations at home.

We know talking is beneficial. Mental health charities tout it, and we know we feel better after a good chat with a friend or family member. But the problem is, many of us are keeping to ourselves. In fact according to campaign research, 46% of British adults say they often keep their worries and concerns to themselves.

Opening up isn’t always easy. According to the study, the top barriers to people opening up about their worries and concerns are worries about being judged, worrying about showing weakness and feeling too embarrassed.

Beyond personal concerns and barriers, lifestyle factors are also eating away at opportunities to have a meaningful conversation at home. With more than half of British adults saying they think families are less connected emotionally than they were 20 years ago, and many saying they would like to feel more connected with people they live with, life gets in the way.

The top factors preventing people from connecting, according to the research are that people feel too tired, have a lack of time because of their busy lifestyle and some admitted they are often too busy checking their social media accounts.

“This new research highlights that many of us are afraid to open up to our friends and family about our problems for fear of being judged – despite the fact that getting things off our chest can make us feel better. That’s why we’re thrilled to be working with McVitie’s to encourage the nation to get talking. You don’t have to be an expert to be there for your loved ones, simply making time for a chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit can go a long way,” Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said.

The partnership will also see McVitie’s contribute to the opening of eight new Time to Change hubs and approximately 400 new Time to Change champions - people with lived experience of mental health problems who campaign to end mental health discrimination in their communities - across England, to help support Mind in its mission to raise awareness and promote understanding around mental health.

If you are struggling to talk and open up, you can find some tips to help you open up  here.

If you are worried about your mental health, you may benefit from speaking to a professional. Enter your location in the box below to find a counsellor near you.

Stock photo courtesy Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection.