Seizing the Awkward

speech-bubble-1604446_1280Starting a conversation can be difficult. Sometimes – especially when you’re close to someone – it can feel like the easiest thing in the world. All sorts of conversations can begin simply by sharing a meme, tagging someone in something that reminds you of them, or even just by saying “what’s up?”

Some topics are harder to approach than others, however. One obvious example is talking about mental health. While adolescents today acknowledge that mental illness is a major problem among their generation, many still hold a stigma which may prevent them from wanting to talk about it with anyone. They may also be afraid of being judged or afraid that if they tell someone, that person will tell someone else and the trust will be broken.

That’s where Seize the Awkward comes in. The website knows that trying to talk to anyone, including those you care for, about mental health and illness is hard, and they’re here to help. The website specifically focuses on how to approach someone else if you think that they are going through a difficult time, and is there to help give you the tips on how to get that conversation started.

What makes the website especially useful is the fact that everything is listed on one page, and all you have to do is scroll. The sidebar divides the page into sections, so if there’s on part you want to specifically get tips about (What are the warning signs? How do you start the conversation?), all you have to do is click it and it’ll directly send you down the page until you get there.

The website also includes advice and stories from internet personalities such as Markiplier and Liza Koshy and a button to generate conversations starters and opening lines. There are animations about the symptoms your friend may be showing to indicate that something seems to be off and worth asking about and ways to keep the conversation going afterwards.

No matter what the situation is – if you’re the subject or not – talking about mental health can be difficult and even scary. Like the website also states, it can be incredibly awkward. Many things are awkward though: asking a crush out, asking a teacher for a recommendation for something, and making appointments over the phone, for example. When it comes to approaching with and facing awkward situations, however, it’s all about remembering that these things may be uncomfortable, but they’re also important to you in a way, and you may feel much better once it’s done.

Check out the site here!


Have you ever felt awkward about having a conversation with someone you’re close to about mental health? Was it about yourself, them, or someone else? Have there been other topics that you feel would be awkward to talk to them about?

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Moderator ★

Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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