There are plenty of positive things you can do if someone you work with is going through a tough time.

What to do

  • have a chat about how they're feeling
  • suggest they might see their doctor
  • offer to help them make an appointment and find other information
  • ask them how their appointment went
  • spend time talking about their experiences
  • talk openly about depression and anxiety at work
  • refer them to resources at work, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • encourage them to exercise, eat well and get involved in social activities.

What not to do

  • pressure them to snap out of it, get their act together or cheer up
  • stay away from them or giving them too much space
  • tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
  • assume the problem will just go away on its own.

 

Sometimes the

best

thing you can do is just listen

Next steps

Supporting a colleague affected by suicide

The stigma associated with suicide can make it hard for people to talk about and seek support from colleagues. You may not know what to say to a colleague who has been affected by suicide, but small acts of genuine concern can really help.

Available support pathways

If you’re worried about a colleague, there's a range of resources you can refer them to.

Useful contacts include:

  • beyondblue’s Support Service – 1300 22 4636 – for information and advice on depression, anxiety and related conditions, available treatments and where to get help. The information line is not a counselling or crisis line. 
  • beyondblue resources, including fact sheets, booklets, flyers and DVDs. These resources can be ordered online or over the phone
  • beyondblue website, for information on depression, anxiety and suicide prevention, available treatments and where to get help
  • Youthbeyondblue, for information designed for young people on depression, anxiety and how to help a friend
  • SANE Australia’s website and helpline – 1800 18 SANE (7623) – provides information about symptoms, treatments, medications, where to go for support and help for carers. 
  • If you work in a larger organisation, your workplace’s human resources managers and internal support services, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Man Therapy, for tools to help men take action for depression and anxiety