{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What is the best way to support a direct report who is struggling with mental health but won't do anything about it?", "post_id": "613118f7dc1016002cc5f148", "reply_count": 3, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "612ea15cf882b3002bd90fb5", "bowl_name": "Mental Health & Your Career", "feed_type": "qa_bowl" }

What is the best way to support a direct report who is struggling with mental health but won't do anything about it?

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Have you made the diagnosis through observation? Or they confided in you and said they have mental health struggles? This is a very sensitive issue and has to be handled be carefully especially if you’re not aware of the details. When you say they won’t do anything about it - is that what they’ve said to you? How long has it been going on? How is it affecting their work?

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It is not uncommon for people struggling with mental issues to do so without intervention. I’d need more specifics. I think a supportive, judgement free stance is the best approach.

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I appreciate the care that I hear you express for your direct report. It sounds like you’ve already been in conversation with them about their situation. I’m curious how you know they aren’t wanting to do anything to improve their mental health? Did they tell you that explicitly or are you simply noticing a similar kind of behavior? If you’ve already tried to work with them to help set realistic work expectations for them and let them take occasional mental health breaks/days, and the situation hasn’t changed much, I would recommend that you don’t step too far into the role of someone responsible for their wellbeing. Striking the balance between being helpful and understanding but not adopting the role of a therapist is critical. Some managers may choose to involve their HR department for added support. This could help them consider things like mental health leave and also ensure that the company is protected should anything drastic happen. Determine if it makes sense to loop the rest of your team in so there is transparency. You can check in with this direct report to gauge how much privacy they want. This is not an exhaustive list so I do recommend you do some research on this to add to your collection of ideas about how to support them in a way that also considers you and your team needs and boundaries.

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