Concerned About A Co-Worker, Family Member or Friend?

In light of the tragedies of suicide that are in the news and an ongoing issue for workplaces, please read the following steps on responding to a co-worker you are concerned about. We are concerned about helping you if you are suffering or concerned about someone else.


How do you know if someone is experiencing a mental illness?


  • Remain aware that everyone is an individual and do not show the same signs of mental illness and some show no signs at all.
  • Give yourself permission to be concerned and voice both care and concern. Mental health symptoms do not go away on their own and the individual is often concerned that others will notice and judge.
  • If you notice an ongoing change in a person’s mood, energy, behavior, interactions, habits or personality, you should be concerned.


How do you approach?


  • Give the individual uninterrupted time and space to open up naturally. If this does not work, then speak openly and honestly about your observations, expressing concern foremost.
  • Tell them what you are observing vs any assumptions or diagnosis.
  • Let the person know you care and are willing to listen and support.
  • Respect their own telling of their story and interpretations.
  • Once the person begins to talk, listen more than you speak.
  • Offer hope and resources, including the 24hr Employee Assistance line at 402-330-0960.
  • Stay with the person while they call, call for them if they want or alert a supervisor if immediate help is needed due to lack of focus.


Offer continuous support.


  • Let the person know you do not judge or blame them for having a mental health issue.
  • Be attuned to other people’s comments that are not mental health friendly and address.
  • Offer consistent support by checking back in, even in small ways so not to overwhelm.
  • Remind the individual of the resources available to them as they do tend to forget easily.
  • Let them know you have not “forgotten” that they struggle daily.
  • Continue to express care for them and hope that they deserve and can access services continuously.


 What are the four different ways to have your free EAP sessions?

}  Access EAP sessions:

◦       In Person – At Arbor – 11605 Arbor Street, Omaha, NE- Or in your community

◦       Phone – 1-800-92-7379/402-330-0960

◦       Online – contact through website,

◦       Web Ex – sessions set up through calling or website requests