Ian McKenna – Plant Technical Support Supervisor and Mental Health First Aider
Talk regularly with anyone who you suspect has a mental health issue. By doing this, you will be able to pick up on any changes in their tone of voice, mannerisms, or behaviour that may suggest they are having a hard time.
For instance, if you’re worried about a colleague and you see they’re making a brew, then go over and join them. You could start simple by discussing last night’s football match or even the weather, and then gradually steer the conversation to their own wellbeing. Take your time, listen to what they have to say and offer support if required.
However, remember to not put yourself at risk; if someone doesn’t want to talk then respect their decision, be prepared to back off and don’t push your way into a conversation if they aren’t being receptive. They may need more time to get comfortable talking about their issues, and that’s okay, as long as they know the support is there when they’re ready.
Mental health issues are all around us so don’t be afraid to interact with others that appear to need support, you may just be the helping hand that someone needs.