I Know Tom The self medicator

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 Tom:

Find a good time and place. Not in the workshop when people are coming and going. Also, not when Tom 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. “Tom, I’ve noticed that you don’t join us in the lunchroom or join in on our workshop banter. Are you ok? We would like you to join us. I’m here if you would like to talk about anything at all “

Encourage and support Tom to talk: “Tom, this must be a big change for you coming to a new workshop. How are your finding it?” “Tom, 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 Tom 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 Tom 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.


Depression 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 depression 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/mental-health/depression

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/depression/

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.