Reaching out to your friend/colleague isn’t always easy, but may go a long way to help them. Here are a few tips on starting a conversation with Garry:
Find a good time and place. Not in the drivers room when people are coming and going. Also, not when Garry 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. “Garry I’ve noticed that you look really stressed and not enjoying your job. When I first came here you would tell anyone who would listen how much you loved your job.”
Encourage and support Garry to talk: “Do you want to tell me what has changed for you?” “Garry how are you coping now we are so chronically short staffed?” “I was thinking how hard your job has got now we don’t have spare drivers, how are you coping” “Garry are you ok mate? I mean really OK? You seem really stressed. Do you want to talk about it?” “Garry, have you seen the Signal for help website? I had a look yesterday and it was great. Those stories could be any of us, and I want you to know I am here if you want to talk about it.” Don’t use criticism or guilt to get them to tell you.
If Garry doesn’t want to talk, invite him to talk to you when he is ready. It is not your role to be a health professional, but you could play a role to help Garry attend his doctor to gain the right treatment. The best support might be making an appointment for him and offering to drive and wait for him. You can also support him to speak with his supervisor, review this website or talk when he is ready.
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 anxiety and how it can be managed, please click here.
WHO CAN I TALK TO? WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
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/the-facts/anxiety
Black Dog Institute https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
If you want to talk to someone for free you can
- Call Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Text Lifeline – 0477 13 11 14
- Lifeline online chat https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat
Mensline https://mensline.org.au (free confidential online and telephone counselling service for men)