When You're Concerned About A Peer
Here are some tips for supporting a colleague who you think might be struggling with an issue related to their mental health.
If you notice a change in a colleague’s behaviour or demeanour, respectfully ask them about their well-being in a manner that is not intrusive. Talk about the specific behaviours you have noticed and that you are concerned about.
Respect their privacy and don’t share what they tell you with others, unless you think they are at risk of harming themselves or others – in which case seek help immediately.
Encourage your colleague to talk to their supervisor or suggest they speak with a PHC Occupational Health Advisor. For tips on how to talk about a mental health concern at work, visit Heads Up.
Provide your colleague with information about our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), where they can speak confidentially with a counselor:
Encourage your peer to talk with their family doctor and refer them to the Resource section of the toolkit.
Ask your peer how you can support them.
Help your peer feel hope – mental health issues are real medical conditions that can be treated.
Continue doing the same activities with your peer as you have before.
Just as important, look after yourself. Remember you are a friend and/or colleague, you are not a trained counselor. If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider talking with EFAP about how you are feeling. Do an activity that you find relaxing and enjoyable. Look at this toolkit's self-care activities for ideas.
Not Myself Today: www.notmyselftoday.ca
Partners for Mental Health: www.partnersformh.ca
Last updated Tue, Mar 29, 2022
The information contained in this toolkit is provided for general information only.
It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician or appropriate health-care provider with respect to your particular circumstances.