I Know Russell The nice old bloke

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 Russell:

Find a good time and place. Not in the drivers room when people are coming and going. Also, not when Russell 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. “Russell, I’ve noticed that you look really stressed and not enjoying your job. We love having you around but is everything OK?”

Encourage and support Russell to talk: “Do you want to tell what has changed for you?” “Russell how are you coping with all the changes in your life, new job, dealing with the public? Is there anything you would like to talk about?” “Russell is the job what you expected? What do you enjoy the most? What you like the least about driving?” “Russell, 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 talk to you.

If Russell 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 Russell 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. Or supporting him to speak to 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.


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/

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

If you want to talk to someone for free you can

Mensline https://mensline.org.au (free confidential online and telephone counselling service for men)

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.