Explore our suite of self-care tools and resources to help you better understand and manage your mental health.

Caring for Others
My Colleague

Supporting our colleague

We spend a lot of time with our colleagues and we may notice when they do not seem like their usual selves. If we observe that our colleague is feeling overwhelmed, we can check in with them to see how they are feeling. Small gestures like this can make a big difference in helping them feel better.

Supporting colleagues with stress, sleep and other mental health challenges

Tips on supporting our colleague

As much as we want to support our colleagues, we might not know what to do or say to support them when they are feeling overwhelmed. Here are some tips on how we can better support our colleagues:

Starting a conversation

Starting a conversation with our colleagues about their well-being can be difficult. To help us navigate challenging conversations with empathy and care, you can pick up some useful tips here.
Learn how to provide emotional support to colleagues at work facing mental health or mental wellbeing issues

Establish a connection

We can take the first step by asking our colleagues how they are doing. Start the conversation with a neutral open-ended question that encourages them to open up. For example, you can ask, “How are things?” or “How have you been?”.

If they are comfortable, try bringing the conversation to a quiet area or arranging to chat over coffee or lunch. If they are unwilling to share, we should respect their privacy and let them know that we are available if they ever do want to chat.
Establish a connection

Understand what’s challenging them and offer support

Stress can be triggered by many events. It might:
  • Spike at regular intervals (e.g. preparing for annual reports)
  • Be recurring (e.g. dealing with a difficult boss)
  • Be one-off (e.g. dealing with bereavement)
It can be helpful to understand the challenges that our colleagues are going through so that we can offer the appropriate support.

If our colleague is experiencing challenges at work, we can:
  • Offer practical suggestions on how to move forward (e.g. if they are stressed about their workload, we can suggest using a to-do list and prioritising tasks)
  • Suggest relevant courses if the issue is about competency
  • Introduce self-directed learning tools
  • Recommend people they can approach for guidance
If our colleague is experiencing personal issues, we can:
  • Offer a listening ear
  • Give them the space and time to express what is on their mind
  • Offering comfort and reassurance can help them feel better even if we might not be able to address the problems they are facing
Understand what’s challenging them and offer support

Strike up a friendship

We can proactively check in with our colleagues from time to time to make sure they know that we are here for support.

Simple actions like going for lunch together or hanging out after work can strengthen a friendship and make it easier for our colleagues to share their problems.
Strike up a friendship

Different mental health challenges

Like all of us, our colleagues might experience life changes that can affect their mental health and well-being. As a colleague, we can learn about some of the mental health challenges they might face so that we can better support them.

Self-care matters

Caring for our colleague while juggling other aspects of our lives can take a toll on our physical and mental well-being. Ultimately, the lack of self-care will make it more difficult for us to care for them. This is also why we should not feel guilty about attending to our needs.

Practising and prioritising self-care will allow us to recharge and be ready to provide them with the support they need. Refer to these tips on managing stress and emotions to keep ourselves healthy.

Self-care matters

Mental health services

For mental health services
related to employee

Employee Assistance Programmes.

Employees can tap on counselling services such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) to speak to a professional on their work and non-work related challenges. Conversations with the service provider will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to their organisation without consent.

Belle, Beyond the Label Helpbot

Belle, Beyond the Label helpbot, is an interactive platform for users to find mental health resources and services in a private and convenient manner. If you or anyone you know is overwhelmed with stress or anxiety, you may find the help you need via Belle.

Chat with Belle now.
Get access to Belle

You may also visit here for more mental health resources or download the list of community mental health services including your nearest GP here.

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