Nine Ways to Start An Open Conversation about Mental Health: Checking in on a Teammate

Published on Galea Health as a brochure

  1. Timing is important. Find a quiet, comfortable setting and give your undivided attention during the conversation.
  2. You don’t have to be an expert on mental health. Starting the conversation takes compassion, not a PhD!
  3. Your teammate might not know exactly how to express how they feel, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate you lending an ear.
  4. Ask caring, open-ended, and nonjudgmental questions.
  5. Avoid immediate problem-solving, remind them that it’s okay to feel the way they feel.
  6. Ask whether they’ve talked about what they’re going through with someone else.
  7. Offer to help them look for a therapist or connect with other support systems.
  8. Listen with intent and let them know you’re there for them beyond this conversation.
  9. Keep checking in!

Conversation Starters

  • “Hey, haven’t seen you around as much lately. How’s everything going?”
  • “I’ve noticed you haven’t really seemed like yourself lately. What’s up?”
  • “I know you’ve been going through a lot lately. If you want to talk, I’m here for you.”

Keep in Mind

No sweat if the conversation doesn’t go as planned! Just letting them know that they have your support is a huge step. Keep checking in and let them open up at their own pace. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or not sure how to best support your friend, don’t hesitate to get some outside help, too. Reach out to a parent, teacher, counselor, or someone you trust to make sure you’re getting the support you need.

Woman Boxing
Cali Werner running a marathon
Biking