Supporting Your Colleagues

Supporting Your Colleagues

The COVID-19 situation and response is creating unprecedented challenges for the community and your workforce.

The COVID-19 situation and response is likely to be an ongoing and evolving issue. The impact will be long term and we all
need to remember to keep checking in on each other to offer and encourage support. In the face of challenges, we draw on our
strengths, resilience and support networks to cope with the difficulties we face. It is common that when faced with multiple
ongoing challenges our resilience may not be at usual levels and some people may need a little extra support adjusting to, and
managing COVID-19 related impacts, or dealing with increased emotions and challenges.

Watch out for the signs
We all need to look out for each other. The signs that a colleague may benefit from some additional support may
include:
> Appearing stressed, anxious, exhausted or confused
> Appearing sad, overwhelmed or angry
> Increased concerns about the future
> Significant withdrawal
> Physical symptoms – headaches, difficulty sleeping, eating, weight loss/gain
> Difficulty concentrating
> Resentment or blaming others
> Increased substance use
> Increased irritability and defensiveness
> Relationship issues
> Increased risk taking or reckless behaviour
> Reduced care and interest in personal appearance
> Difficulties switching off
> Increased worry or preoccupation with stressors
> Decreased confidence and self esteem

Check in regularly
Connecting, listening to others experience, encouraging support and following up are key steps to supporting others. Where in person connection is not possible, connect by phone, text, video chat and social media.

Being a good listener is one of the best things you can do to provide support to a colleague. Allow people to fully express their emotions and show them you are interested by actively listening. Always encourage support if you feel additional assistance may be helpful. Remember to continue to check in, even if they are OK at the time.

Keep communication open with management – It is important to keep regularly communicating with your manager if you have any questions or concerns. It is likely if you have questions, others may have similar concerns or worries. Raising issues and feeding back concerns will assist with identifying the information staff need to help them manage and respond to COVID-19.

To Find more information, advice or resources:
> Mental Health Foundation
> NZ Government COVID-19
> Ministry

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