As we are starting to return to the office post pandemic, we need to be mindful of how much our colleagues can support us and vice versa. As a result, it maybe that we develop friendships and in doing so turn to each other for support with our mental well-being. It is important that we respond in a way that is encouraging and supportive and in doing so can help create an open culture around mental health. How can we do this?
- Be an empathetic listener. You can do this by saying something like, “I’sorry to hear you’re struggling, is there anything I can do to help? or “How are things?”
- Give space and ask open ended questions. Remember it is important to reassure them that the conversation is private
- Invite them for a coffee, sometimes a more relaxed environment can help conversation
- Think about signposting them to sources of help such as here at Jonathan’s Voice or Mind
- If they have taken time off work sending a card or a quick text can let them know they are not alone and you care.
These strategies and ideas align with the aims of Jonathan’s Voice – to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, to empower people to speak up and to reach out for help when they need it.