How to support a struggling Colleague with Mental Health Issues

How to support a struggling Colleague with Mental Health Issues

May 17, 2024M E Hire

As we come to the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, showing support to your colleagues at your workplace is at the forefront of our mind.

At ME Hire Limited, we believe that fostering a supportive and empathetic work environment is crucial for the well-being of our team. Mental health issues can affect anyone, and knowing how to support a colleague who may be struggling is an important aspect of workplace culture. Here’s how you can approach and support a colleague in need, the importance of empathy and discretion, and the training opportunities available to enhance your understanding of mental health support.

Approaching a Colleague in Need

Recognizing when a colleague might be struggling with their mental health is the first step. Look out for signs such as changes in behaviour, decreased productivity, or increased absenteeism. If you notice these signs, approach your colleague with care:

  1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a private and comfortable setting where you can talk without interruptions.
  2. Be Compassionate: Start the conversation with empathy. Use phrases like, “I’ve noticed you seem a bit down lately. Is everything okay?”
  3. Listen Actively: Give them your full attention. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to can make a significant difference.
  4. Offer Support, Not Solutions: Let them know you are there to support them, but avoid trying to fix their problems. Say, “I’m here for you. How can I help?”
  5. Respect Their Privacy: If they’re not ready to talk, respect their wishes. Let them know your door is always open.

The Importance of Empathy and Discretion

Empathy and discretion are key when supporting a colleague with mental health issues:

  • Empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of your colleague can help build trust and openness. Empathetic interactions can reduce feelings of isolation and help your colleague feel valued and supported.
  • Discretion: Mental health is a personal and sensitive topic. Respect your colleague’s privacy and avoid sharing their struggles with others unless you have their explicit permission. Confidentiality is crucial in maintaining trust and dignity.

Training Opportunities for Mental Health Support

At ME Hire Limited, we are committed to providing our employees with the tools and knowledge to support each other effectively. We offer various training opportunities to enhance your understanding of mental health support:


  • Mental Health First Aid Training: This program teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
  • Workshops and Seminars: Regularly scheduled sessions led by mental health professionals cover topics such as stress management, building resilience, and creating a supportive work environment.
  • Online Courses: Access to online resources and courses that provide flexible learning opportunities about mental health awareness and support.


Supporting a colleague struggling with mental health issues is not only about being a good co-worker but also about fostering a compassionate and supportive work culture. By approaching your colleague with empathy, respecting their privacy, and utilizing available training resources, you can make a positive impact on their mental well-being and contribute to a healthier workplace for all.


ME Hire Limited

Building a Supportive Workplace, One Conversation at a Time

At ME Hire Limited, we are dedicated to ensuring that every team member feels supported and valued. Let’s work together to create an environment where mental health is openly discussed and actively supported.

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