Tell Me More: Wentworth Miller’s Suggestions on How to Start the Conversation

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Watch this short video clip to hear from two hugely committed #StigmaFighters!

Dani Lukens, an Active Minds outreach specialist, spoke with Wentworth Miller, the popular actor and Active Minds’ Ambassador for Mental Health, about how talking about someone’s mental health is not an easy conversation to have, and yet how important it is to try.

Wentworth Miller also provides some great suggestions, based on his own experiences, for what to say to someone you’re concerned about, and how having this conversation is one of the best first steps for helping someone who’s struggling.

We admire the way Dani and Wentworth fully embrace Active Minds’ mission to “change the conversation about mental health”!

giving_tuesday_logostacked_transparentYou, too, can show the world this is a cause you care about by making a donation to Active Minds’ lifesaving mission. Plus, every $5 you donate from now through December 9 is an entry to win a fun #BreaktheStigma prize package for you or a friend.

Give. Save. Win. See all the details here!

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Dani: While on tour with Send Silence Packing, the most common feedback I get from students is “Thank you.” At every exhibit, I have students express their gratitude for bringing to light something that is still so difficult to talk about for many people. So when you first started talking about your own mental health, what were some of the reactions that you got from your family, your friends, your fans as well?

Wentworth: That’s an evolving conversation. I’ve said before that, we all have to come out many times and in many ways, and so for me it feels as though I’m coming out about my mental health history and situation almost on a daily basis.

And it’s different every time, depending on who you’re talking to. Some people are ready to have that conversation with me. Some people are ready to hold a space for the fact that I have experienced depression and I’ve had suicidal thoughts, that there have been long stretches in my life where I’ve struggled. Some people know how to be with that, and other people in my experience, don’t. They’re either triggered by that conversation because it brings up something in themselves, or there’s maybe a desire to immediately fix it and make it ok.

My preferred response is, “Tell me more.” My preferred response is, “How was that for you.” My preferred response is, “I’m sorry that that happened. What can I do to support you in this process?”

I think a lot of people, understandably, because the conversation is so new, don’t know how to speak into it, and so they choose not to. They choose to erect a wall of silence.

But my advice to someone who is wanting to speak into that conversation — because maybe they have a friend or loved one that they can see is going through something — is to start from a place of “I don’t know.” Use that as your springboard.

“I feel like you’re going through something. I see you going through something. But I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t know what to say exactly. I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing.”

And out of that admission, you’ve created a space that invites the other person to step into whatever their truth may be. The conversation has begun.

And I think that’s really the most important part of that whole process. Beginning the conversation. Whatever that looks like. And I think, “I don’t know how to begin the conversation” is a great start.

Giving Tuesday Contest on Nov 29: Earn Prizes!

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givingtuesday_chapters_bannerHey stigmafighters! We wanted to let you know about a brand-new initiative we’ve created to help chapters fundraise that will take just ONE day of your time and will help earn prizes for you and your chapter, including a FREE awareness campaign kit like the one you received in the mail earlier this semester.

This Tuesday, November 29, join Active Minds in sharing why campus mental health and the Active Minds movement are important to you. Share your story with the hashtag #BecauseofActiveMinds along with your chapter’s online fundraising page, and you and your chapter could win a prize. See below for the three simple steps.

How to Participate:

Step 1: Create a Personal Fundraising Page.
Find your chapter’s online fundraising page here. Select your chapter’s name. On your chapter’s fundraising page, select the button “Create a Personal Page.” Complete the online form and you’re done! (Don’t see your chapter’s fundraising page listed? Or found it but want to change the photo and/or text? Contact us at chapters@activeminds.org for help!)

Step 2: Customize Your Personal Page.
This handy guide and the Chapters Team (chapters@activeminds.org) are here to help!

Step 3: Promote your Personal Page on Social Media with the Hashtag #BecauseofActiveMinds.
On Giving Tuesday (November 29), post a photo (using our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram templates), a link to your fundraising page, and the hashtag #BecauseofActiveMinds.

Prizes Awarded to:

  • The CHAPTER raising the MOST online donations for Active Minds on Giving Tuesday.
  • The INDIVIDUAL raising the MOST online donations for Active Minds on Giving Tuesday. 

For more information, contact the Chapters Team at  chapters@activeminds.org.