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The Language of Listening

The Language of Listening

You know what it’s like. Your mate is struggling but you’re not quite sure what the right thing to do or say is. It feels a bit AWKWARD. But it doesn’t need to be.

That’s why we’ve worked with our mates at SEAT – along with the help of the one and only Hugo Chegwin – to present… “The Language of Listening”. It’ll remove that awkward stage by giving you ways to have a chat, really show that you’re listening and help make them feel a little better.

At CALM we know that mental health chat is filled with cliches, euphemisms and stereotypes that don’t help. We’re trying to fight against that and break down the stigmas so people can be honest and let their mates know how they really feel. But the truth is that many of us are still just sticking to a script and not scratching below the surface.  In fact, only 55% of men experiencing depression will let anyone know about it* and 84% of men say they bottle up their emotions**

Be honest, when was the last time you asked a mate not just how they were doing but, you know, how they were really doing? Sitting down and checking in with other people isn’t just a tick box exercise, it can literally be a lifesaver.

We’re working with SEAT to say that If you think someone is struggling, don’t always accept “I’m fine”. “I’m fine” is a silence filler. A black hole of a phrase used to reassure people and not really reveal anything. It’s the most told lie you tell your mates, right next to: “I’ll be 5 minutes” when they ask you where you are. 

But we also know that when a mate is finding things tough, it is difficult to know what to do to help. It can be tempting to brush it off and not ask in case things get awkward. That’s why we’ve joined forces with SEAT for “The Language of Listening”, a series of hints and tips that make it easier to talk about the stuff that really matters.

Take a look through the films and hopefully you’ll find something in there that will help next time your mate is ready to open up about something they’re dealing with.

Most importantly, remember to listen to what they’re saying, let them know you’re there for them, be available and trust your instincts.

Worried about someone?

What does it mean to be a good mate? Maybe it’s turning up a friend’s door with a takeaway after a busy day, sending a meme you know they’ll find funny, or being there when they’re struggling. We know it can be hard to know when someone you care about is finding things tough and even harder to know what to say – that’s why we’ve put this page together.


ALAN can help

If you do sense a mate is struggling, and you’re still not sure what to say here at CALM, we have our own mate who we lean on from time to time and you can lean on him too. He’s called ALAN – and he can really help. These four steps – taken from suicide prevention training – can help mates in all sorts of tough situations. 


Get help on...

If you need help, we’ve got loads of info and advice about the issues you or your mates might be facing. From anxiety to depression, these pages are here to help you understand more about what you’re going through and find ways to move forward.


Grow a pair

This isn’t the first time we’ve worked with SEAT to help men communicate better about mental health. “The Language of Listening” follows on from our successful “Grow A Pair” campaign, which saw us install a giant pair of… ears in London to encourage men to listen to the people they care about most.