More than half of adults ‘pretend to be okay’ to avoid talking about their mental health

By Staff 7 Min Read

A poll of 2,000 people found 56 per cent also find mental health the toughest topic to talk about, with six in 10 believing there is a still a stigma associated with it

More than half of adults admit they pretend to be okay to avoid talking about their own mental health.

A poll of 2,000 people found 56 per cent also find this the toughest topic to talk about, with six in 10 believing there is a still a stigma associated with it. Sharing these personal issues with others leaves 28 per cent feeling awkward, and 24 per cent wouldn’t know what to say if a friend approached them to ask if they were all right.

It also emerged 46 per cent of those, aged 18 to 44, wouldn’t know how to start a conversation with a friend about their mental wellbeing. However, 42 per cent of all adults would be more likely to share how they were feeling with someone who had opened up to them first.

In response to the findings, Beavertown Brewery, which commissioned the research, has joined forces with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to introduce limited-edition crisps called ‘Open Up’. Emotive questions and prompts are printed on the interior of the packets to encourage people to open up about how they’re really feeling and talk about their mental health.

Actor and comedian Tom Davis, who has openly documented his own struggles with mental health, said: “We often shy away from getting deep and opening up with our loved ones about what’s going on in our lives, masking it with comedy – something I’ve done many times. These crisps give you that natural invitation to start sharing in a laid-back way, right there at the pub, which is the perfect place to do so if you ask me.”

The study also found 56 per cent of adults think women are better at discussing their mental health, with only five per cent saying the same about men. Opening up over a drink would make 18 per cent feel more at ease, while 10 per cent would be more comfortable doing so in a pub. Of those who have struggled with their own mental health, 23 per cent have never talked to someone about it.

Although, according to the OnePoll data, 41 per cent would be most likely to open up to their partner about such issues. Tom Rainsford, managing director of Beavertown Brewery, which will be offering the free crisp packets in more than 260 UK pubs and venues during April, said: “Pubs are a place where we can come together with our mates to catch-up and chat, but that doesn’t mean we always feel able to be honest about how we really feel. Our research shows many of us don’t know how to start a conversation about mental health with our friends. We hope our crisps will give people an opportunity to have a more honest and open chat with their friends.”

Simon Gunning, CEO of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), said: “Our partnership with Beavertown is about finding ways to help us all feel more connected. Checking in with your mate is one of the most important things you can do. It’s not always obvious if someone is struggling, so together we’re finding ways to make important conversations part of our routine.”

Share This Article
Leave a comment