As we keep an eye out for each other we may notice a change in behaviour or mood indicating someone is under par.
These behaviours might include being snappy, withdrawn, negative, tired, hyper, coming in late or working extra hours - possibly avoiding going home, dealing with financial worries or overstretched. We might notice they are slipping into orange or red.
So how can we approach someone we think is not feeling themselves?
- When appropriate ask if they feel they are sliding into orange
Arrange a catch-up perhaps via a text or email. This gives them space and time to answer. Make the catch up somewhere private. This is particularly important if a colleague. ie be discreet.
Go for a walk or a drive. There’s less pressure as not sitting face to face and helps someone open up.
Let them know you are thinking of them
Regular texts or calls
Empathise and share your own experiences – helps open up and build trust.
You can start with something like “it’s been a rough few years for everyone, I know I’ve found it hard. How are things going for you?”
- Don’t judge
- Listen – we naturally want to fix, but sometimes letting someone just talk out loud is letting them fix things in their minds and start making a plan
- Ask if they have support
- Be there – just sitting together is huge
- Suggest they call 1737 or EAP
- Help book professional appointment or take them there if need be – remember if someone is very stressed or depressed even calling strangers is a big deal
- Debrief – you too can call 1737 for this. It’s important to reset ourselves after hearing some tough things.