Are they OK?

If you’re concerned about a colleague, learning more about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety is a good place to start. It’s not your role to provide a diagnosis or counselling – that’s what health professionals are for – but you can encourage them to seek support and let them know you’re there to help. 

Having a conversation

“How do I go about asking ‘Are you OK?’” “What if I say the wrong thing?”

 For some people, uncertainty about how the conversation might pan out or fear of causing offence can prevent them talking to someone they’re concerned about.

Checking in with someone often gives them the confidence they need to seek support.


What if I


the wrong thing?

Supporting a colleague

We spend almost every day with our colleagues, so we’re in a good position to spot changes in their mood or behaviour. Maybe they’re struggling with deadlines or coming to work late most days when you know they’re usually a stickler for punctuality. Or perhaps they’re turning down invitations to lunch or after-work drinks when they normally enjoy socialising. There are a number of things you can do to if you’re concerned about a colleague.

Supporting a direct report

If someone in your team is experiencing depression or anxiety, the way you respond and the level of support you’re able to offer is crucial. From the first conversation through to developing a collaborative plan to help them stay at or return to work, managers have a central role to play.