A consultant clinical psychologist has marked Time to Talk Day 2018 by encouraging people to open up about their feelings.

Dr Nicola Green, who has worked with children and young people for Humber NHS Foundation Trust for 17 years, says chatting about your emotions is good for your mental health.

Being mentally well is just as important as being physically well and it can influence how you function in life; so if you’ve got good mental wellbeing you can feel more confident, engage better with the world and be a more productive person. If you had a sore leg you would go to the doctor to ask for help, if you are struggling with how you feel, talking about it can help you find a way around it and get back on track rather than allowing it to develop and get worse

Dr Green says although people should make time to talk every day:

having a national day that helps people remember to have conversations about how they’re feeling is a good thing. People seem to talk about their bodies all the time but mainly physical health, Time to Talk Day is good because it encourages people to talk about mental health. The more people talk and are open about their experiences, the more it encourages those around them to share their experiences – and that’s quite a normalising thing to do

Dr Green, who has been a consultant for a decade, acknowledges that some people find it easy to talk about their emotions and are “natural sharers”. Others, however, find it more difficult and worry what those around them think. These people are more at risk of becoming “trapped in their own heads”.

The consultant advises people struggling to be open about their feelings to think about how they can improve their emotional wellbeing.

Keeping active, taking an interest in the world, learning, giving and making connections with people will all help, Sometimes it’s about taking a risk, a little step, and talking to other people. When people do this, more often than not they realise that how they’re feeling is normal and similar to people around them. Talking really is the best medicine for our mental health