Time to Talk Day – 1st Feb: Talking is at the heart of what we do

‘I’m fine’ is often the response to ‘How are you?’ but those two simple words can hide so much.  I’m not talking about the argument-inducing ‘I’M FINE!’ just the natural response that we all give when we are definitely not fine to so many people.

As we mark ‘Time to Talk’* day on February 1st, I encourage you to dig a little deeper when someone tells you that they are fine. How about pausing and asking ‘How is your day going?’ – spending just five minutes talking to someone can make a huge difference to someone’s day especially if they are isolated or lonely.

It could be a family member, friend you don’t see very often, a shop assistant, someone sitting on the next table to you in a café or the Big Issue seller you see every time you come into town.

At The Mustard Tree, talking is what we do.  Through mentoring and befriending, we spend time encouraging people to share their experiences, thoughts, feelings, worries and concerns.  It could be a young person who is worried about their future and not sure what to do next – employment or education; it could be an older person who is bereft from losing their partner, suddenly having no one to talk to, or it could be someone whose life has been filled with trauma and the only life they know is substance abuse funded by sex work.

Taking time to talk is the start of the process, gaining their trust and beginning build a rapport to help them make positive life choices.

If you enjoy talking to people and have one hour, once a week, could you spare the time to volunteer with us as we are hoping to recruit more volunteer befriender and mentors.  To find out more email info@themustardtree.org or call us on 0118 956 7000.

Christine Munday – Project Director The Mustard Tree Foundation (Reading)

*Time to Talk Day is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, in partnership with the Co-op