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Supporting work colleagues

Do you have a work colleague that needs supporting? They may be struggling, becoming withdrawn or not coping with their workload. If they are going through a tough time, here are five things you can do to support them.


Five tips for supporting work colleagues


1. Ask how they are feeling

It sounds so simple, but let your colleague know you are there for them and open to a conversation. Make it clear you are asking about them, and offering support, not about the progress of a project. Listen to their experiences and talk openly about mental health in the workplace.


2. Invite them to participate in activities

Ask if they want to go out for lunch or take a walk.


3. Offer to help ease their workload

Is there something you can do to ease their workload, or help them find another way to tackle a challenge.


4. Recommend professional support

This can be your organisation’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), their GP or a counselling service. You can help them to find further information about the support available.


5. Keep in contact

Follow-up with them and ask how the appointment went. Let them know you are available to talk.


The type of support you can offer will depend on how close your relationship is with your colleague, so use the suggestions above as a guide and choose what will work for you. You are not expected to come up with solutions to their problems, but you can listen and help them seek professional support.

If you feel like you are unable to start a conversation or provide support, speak to your manager. Tell them what you have noticed, so your colleague doesn’t have to go through this alone.


If you are worried about someone, and need someone to talk to, call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 to speak to a counsellor.

If it is an emergency, please call 000.