Worried about someone else?
Are you concerned about a colleague, someone in your family or a member of staff? We can help.
Are you concerned about a colleague, someone in your family or a member of staff? We can help. It may be difficult to talk to someone you are concerned about and you may feel anxious about starting a conversation with them, but just taking a few minutes to talk could make a real difference to that person.
How do I know there is a problem
Out-of-character behaviour may include:
- Irritability, mood swings, anger and short temper
- Lack of energy, concentration and motivation
- Frequent bouts of illness
- Failure to achieve targets despite apparent commitment and long hours
- Overconfidence despite making mistakes
- Withdrawal from normal social interaction
- Deteriorating relationships with managers and/or colleagues
- Neglect of personal dress and hygiene
- Coming into the workplace smelling of alcohol
- Over-reacting when challenged
How to talk about mental health
Talking about mental health at work can be difficult. Some may find it helps to be open, and feel relieved that things are not hidden any more, but they may also experience negative reactions. It’s important for people to remember they’re not alone, and that many people in work have mental health problems. It’s the individual’s choice to talk about their mental health with colleagues or employers, there are no set rules, but talking may help to get the practical support needed to stay healthy at work.
It is also not necessary to be an expert in mental health to talk to a colleague who may be experiencing an issue. People may feel anxious about starting the conversation, but it’s important to remember that talking could make all the difference to a colleague’s mental health.
The conversation could be started with a simple ‘How are you?’ Offering to make the person a cup of tea, inviting them somewhere private for a chat, or suggesting popping out to a nearby café or for a walk, can all get people talking. Setting aside enough time to talk and switching the phone off are also good things to do in this situation.
There are some useful tips on how to start that conversation from Mental Health First Aid England [MHFA].
The tips are:
- Keep the discussion positive and supportive – explore the issues and how to help
- Be mindful of body language – make sure it’s open and non-confrontational
- Be empathetic and take them seriously
- Don’t be tempted to say things like ‘pull yourself together’
- Ask questions such as ‘How are you feeling at the moment?’, ‘How long have you been feeling like this?’, ‘Is there anyone you feel you can ask for support?’, ‘Are there any work issues that are contributing to how you are feeling?’, and ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’
- Listen carefully, don’t interrupt, and try to be non-judgmental
- Be reassuring and signpost them to support such as LawCare, HR, another colleague, or suggest they visit their GP
If you need guidance on how to support someone call our helpline in confidence on 0800 279 6888
Real stories of people in the legal community who have experienced stress, depression, anxiety and more.