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Why me?

We all interact with other people (customers, members of the public, work colleagues, family and friends) on a daily basis and it's often during these interactions / conversations, that lifestyle issues which are impacting upon a person's health emerge.  Many people are unaware of the harm a poor lifestyle can cause and whilst some are aware and would like to make a change, they don’t know where to go to for advice or support.

This is where you can make a difference!  Once a conversation has started, which focuses around lifestyle issues, you can use this opportunity to listen to the person's concerns and help them with relevant information, advice or signposting to appropriate local or national services.

Don't forget about your own family and friends too, as they may also benefit!  Have you ever made a lifestyle change, such as eating more healthily or drinking less alcohol, because of a comment someone else made?

What might stop you from carrying out MECC?

Do you have personal barriers, which could prevent you from sharing lifestyle advice?  Do any of these sound familiar?

"I smoke, so I'm not in a position to tell other people not to smoke."

"I'm so unhealthy, I can't advise other people to eat healthy food."

It's important to remember that just because you smoke or don't eat very healthily, it doesn’t mean you're unable to raise these matters with someone else.  You may find you have more empathy and insight into other people’s behaviour and even if you only plant the seed of change for someone and nudge them towards a healthier lifestyle, it all counts!

"I don't know enough about mental health to advise other people."

You don’t need to be an expert in a certain area, as this e-learning will help you learn key messages about different topics.  It's also about knowing where you can direct people for further advice and support.

"I'm very busy, I just don't have the time!"

Don't forget that offering lifestyle advice doesn't have to be a lengthy conversation, sometimes it only needs to take a few moments to Make Every Contact Count.