There are lots of things you can do to support a workmate who is going through a tough time. The level of support that you are able to provide will vary depending on the relationship that you have with them.


Below are some ideas of what you can do to support someone at work:


What to do

  • Have a chat about how they are feeling.
  • Suggest they seek support.
  • Refer them to resources at work, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • Offer them help to make an appointment and find other information.
  • Ask them how their appointment went.
  • Spend time talking about their experiences.
  • Talking openly about mental health.
  • Encourage them to exercise, eat well and get involved in social activities.
  • If practical, ask them if you can assist with work tasks.

What not to do

  • Pressure them to snap out of it, get their act together or cheer up.
  • Stay away from them or give 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.

If you want to have a conversation with someone you're concerned about but not sure how to initiate it?
We've got some tips to get you started

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.


Find out more



Available support pathways

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

Useful contacts include:

  • Beyond Blue'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.
  • Beyond Blue resources, including fact sheets, booklets, flyers and DVDs. These resources can be ordered online or over the phone.
  • Beyond Blue website, for information on depression, anxiety and suicide prevention, available treatments and where to get help.
  • 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)