The Depressed Employee
Depressed individuals show a multitude of symptoms, e.g., guilt, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy, as well as physical symptoms such as decreased or increased appetite, difficulty staying asleep or awake, early awakening, and low interest in daily activities. They show low activity levels because everything is an effort and they have little energy.
- Let the employee know you are aware of the change in her/his behavior and you would like to help.
- Reach out more than halfway and normalize the occurrence of low mood in today’s society. Encourage interaction with others.
- Tell the employee of your concern, using specific examples e.g., "I was concerned when you fell asleep on the job today".
- Ask the employee directly if you suspect that she/he is suicidal. (See section: Danger Signals for Severe Depression or Potential Suicidal Behavior.)
- Say, "Don't worry," "Crying won't help," or "Everything will be better tomorrow."
- Be afraid to ask whether the employee is suicidal if you think she/he may be.