I Know Brenda Constantly in chaos

Reaching out to your friend/colleague isn’t always easy, but it may go a long way to help them. Here are a few tips on starting a conversation with Brenda:

Find a good time and place. Not at reception or the front office when people are coming and going. Also, not when Brenda is time poor. Suggest going for a coffee/drink after work or finding a spot that is free from distractions Focus on what you have noticed and try to add something positive. “Brenda I’ve noticed that since COVID you don’t seem to be enjoying your job. It must be hard as you are effectively doing 2 roles at the same time now. Are you ok?”

Encourage and support Brenda to talk: “Brenda how are you coping now we are so chronically short staffed?” “I was thinking how hard your job has got now you have to deal with complaints. Do you have anyone to debrief to? Do you want to talk to me?” “Brenda are you ok? I mean really, I’d be stressed if I was doing your job. Do you want to talk about it? I’m here if you ever want talk.” Don’t use criticism or guilt to get them to tell you.

If Brenda doesn’t want to talk, invite her to talk to you when she is ready. It is not your role to be a health professional, but you could play a role to help Brenda attend her doctor to gain the right treatment with a comment such as “Have you spoken to your GP about how hard your job has become. Would you like me to make an appointment for you, drive you there and you can talk tell them how hard it is on you?” You can also support her to speak with her supervisor, review this website or talk when she is ready.


Depression & anxiety can be successfully treated. By understanding what treatment options there are, you can provide the necessary support and direction to your friend/family/colleague to access a treatment that supports them.

To learn more about these depression & anxiety and how they can be managed, please click here.


Your local GP or mental health practitioner can help you understand mental health and provide advice. Other good links for you to review or people to talk to include:

Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/mental-health

Black Dog Institute https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, visit https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/emergency-help/

Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/information-and-support/

If you want to talk to someone for free you can

Mindspot https://www.mindspot.org.au

Living with a mental health condition looks different for everyone.
Click on the profiles below to understand what experiencing mental health issues might look like in your workplace, and how to get help.