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Script: Mental health check

How to enquire about a DR's mental health

Time to read: 2 mins


Looking out for your team's mental wellbeing is a fundamental part of your role as a people leader so you should make it a regular part of your catch up conversations. It can be a sensitive topic for some people so encouraging them to open up and share what’s going on can help you to support them through whatever it is they are going through. They may not want to share details so give them time and space as needed.


Treating their issues confidentially, being non judgemental, open and empathetic may in time help them to feel safe to share which can give you more of a steer as to how to best support them but don’t push too much - it’s entirely up to them.

Say

Hi [insert name], we need to have a chat about your performance at work. How do you think things are going?

Listen

Offering help may encourage them to share how they are feeling or will at least give you an opening to review what support you might be able to give. Depending on their response:   

Say

I’m concerned for your wellbeing.  Do you have some support or other help around you at the moment? Is there anything that’s happening at work that’s contributing to this? Would it help you to have time away from work to deal with this?

Listen

Try to understand how it must feel for them and ascertain how you can best support them. If they share a bit about what’s going on, you can move on to look at ways that you can help with their work e.g. greater flexibility, some time off but be lead by them and keep asking open questions to encourage them to tell you, rather than you telling them.


How to respond to pushback


If your colleague isn't willing to open up, that is their choice but it can be difficult for you to understand how you can support them. Just being there and being supportive can mean a huge amount to them (even if they don’t show it).  


Say

I’m here for you if and when you want to talk but there are also lots of additional support helplines out there so please don’t deal with this alone. Please let me know what you need once you’ve had a chance to think this through.

Check in regularly and offer any employee assistance options your company might have access to. There are also loads of specialist support agencies and charities on line that you could signpost them to if they are open to that - check for relevant organisations linked to their need.


Quick note


Our scripts have been written to support and prepare for tricky conversations. We'd suggest running through key points with your HR team beforehand and following any relevant guidance and legislation.

Next steps to consider

Dealing with these things can be emotional for you as the people leader so you may also want to access support for yourself or ‘offload’ to one of these teams so that you can do that confidentially. For extra information on dealing with mental health please contact your company HR or refer to government guidance and legislation.

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