New year, new talk

The first #LetsTalkbetter event is being planned for early in 2023.

It will be held in Bromley’s Copper Ceylon restaurant. Details to follow.

In the meantime, co-founder of the #LetsTalkbetter campaign, Darren Weale, appeared on Eddie Nestor’s show on BBC Radio London, for whom broadcaster Kath Melandri was sitting in. We talked about the campaign, and Kath said, “Lets Talk is a beautiful campaign, I love that you’re doing it locally as well”. Kath contributed some thoughts on better conversations that will be shared in our Toolkit as it develops.

Let’s Talk better campaign – launch

On Friday 14th October 2022, the Let’s Talk better campaign to was launched live on air in Zeenat Noorani’s Mindset Matters Radio show, together with Darren Weale of In Tune PR.

Wellbeing and Mindset Coach Zeenat of Vida de la Mariposa Coaching and Darren feel passionately that ‘All of us can learn to be better at talking and listening to fellow humans’. That is a line from the book ‘Let’s Talk’ by broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake, but it is the tip of an iceberg, as there are many more threads to be woven into that simple statement. Above all, as Zeenat says, ‘We know there is a problem on many levels, but we also know something can be done about it, and that is exactly what we will be doing.’

You can listen to the show here.

Genesis of Let’s Talk better

Let’s Talk better – a campaign and what will become a toolkit to inspire better conversations – is a collaboration between Wellbeing and Mindset Coach Zeenat Noorani and Darren Weale, a Public Relations (RR) consultant.

Where did Let’s Talk better start? For Zeenat, when she became a Wellbeing and Mindset Coach and she realised she wanted to make a difference to people’s mental health. She recognised that there is a mental health crisis, and part of it even now is the many areas of stigma around the topics that contains. So, she started an online radio show to help change that, named Mindset Matters. On her show, every week she talks about many areas of mental health and has guests who join her in talking about, de-mystifying, and offering advice around often taboo subjects such as suicide.

For Darren, a professional communicator, it began when he met Zeenat and she brought home to him how important and how under-addressed much of mental health is. Add in hearing BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthenayake interview author Johan Hari about his book ‘Stolen Focus’ analysing changes in the way people interact and appreciate information, and then Nihal’s book on conversation itself, Let’s Talk, which can be summed up in words he quoted from Lorraine Kelly, “The art of conversation is dying.” Sometimes, death isn’t inevitable, and Darren and Zeenat concluded that by working together something really could be done.

By then, Darren and Zeenat had already come together to launch and co-present the Bromley Buzz podcast, which is bringing together and sharing good things in what is our local community. That showed us both even more the value of conversation. So, influenced by Nihal and Johan’s books, and others by Stacey Dooley, Radhika Sanghani, Max Dickins, and more, we aim to add something those books haven’t provided. The beginnings of a solution. Answers to these key questions: what should we talk about? How can we create change and DO SOMETHING? Our early answers are shared elsewhere on this, our website.