Your Role as a Co-worker

Your Role as a Co-worker

If you think someone may be experiencing a mental health issue, you can help by providing encouragement and information on supportive services available in the workplace (such as an employee and family assistance plan) or in the community.

It is important that you do not try to diagnose the problem. This should be left to a trained health professional. It is enough that you have noticed a change in a co-worker’s behaviour and have expressed your concern and support. If you have a supportive supervisor, you may want to identify that there is a problem and you are concerned about your co-worker’s health. Also,

  1. Consider that your attitudes and behaviour can impact the mental health of others
  2. Challenge or report disrespectful behaviour and attitudes when you see them
  3. Be mindful of the language you use, and use language that puts people first
    • Someone is a person with a mental illness, not mentally ill.
    • Avoid phrases that trivialize psychiatric diagnoses, like I’m feeling a bit OCD today, or I must be having an Alzheimer’s moment.
    • Avoid derogatory terms like crazy or insane
  4. Know your workplace’s policy on harassment and bullying

Encourage your employer to take CivicAction’s free, confidential online assessment that will give them suggested actions and resources at

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