Mental Health Toolkit

The Mental Health Toolkit aims to provide supervisors with some practical guidance on how to support a staff member who may need assistance coping at work, e.g. you have identified their normal patterns of behaviour and/or physical appearance are different.

The toolkit is in a simple checkbox format which steps a supervisor through a process of:

  • identifying the issues of concern;
  • gathering information;
  • planning for a conversation; and
  • taking some steps to explore options and provide support.

using a simple acronym, "LIFE".


For supervisors to:

  • have the confidence to intervene early;
  • make decisions and provide direction/support when they sense that something is not right;
  • understand there is a difference between normal stress factors and what might be related to a mental health illness;
  • identify actions that enable a worker to perform their duties more effectively while still meeting the inherent requirements of their job;
  • be proactive and have a positive influence;
  • understand that there is University support/advice available to them by way of Manager Assist, the Employee Assistance Program and Human Resources.

For the person to:

  • feel supported;
  • self-manage and make changes to the ways in which they work/behave (if required);
  • gain professional assistance (if required);
  • be involved and understand that they have responsibilities too

Please note that this toolkit has been developed with the aid of information from a number of publicly available sources. It is not a mandated process.

  • How to use the toolkit

    • Read through each stage of the acronym “LIFE” to gain an appreciation of the content.  You can access the information by clicking on the words they represent i.e. “Look”, “Identify” “Face” “Empower”.  Please note that the order is not prescriptive, but provides you with a logical approach.
    • Decide if you want to print the toolkit out in full and commence collation of information.
    • Complete the checklists by checking what is relevant and the actions you should consider/complete.
    • Review what not to do as you progress.  (i.e. refer to the listing at the bottom right hand corner of each page).
    • Review the ‘resources’ section on this page if you wish to gain more clinical information around a specific illness.

    It is suggested that you don’t take this toolkit to your meeting with the staff member but use your preparation notes to lead the conversation.

    If you need help at any stage. Contact the HSW team, HR service centre or EAP Counselling/Manager and Colleague Assist (8352 9898).

  • Quick reference quide

    A printable quick reference guide to the Mental Health Toolkit has been designed to provide supervisors with the knowledge and skills to help a staff member who may be requiring assistance with their mental health.




  • Feedback

    The HSW team invites you to provide feedback on what is being done and is also open to new ideas on how we can continuously improve our systems and service.   If you wish to make a suggestion please email Manager, HSW Policy and Injury Management, Louisa Bowes or Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, Louise Dunn

Mental Health Toolkit

Look: When you observe that normal patterns of behaviours or their physical appearance is different, it could be an early signal that your staff member may need assistance.

Identify: Gather the facts: It is often difficult to distinguish normal mental health from mental illness because there is no simple test to show you. Gather information to help you make an informed decision.

Face: A conversation can be difficult, but needs to occur to help the person and help you at work.

Empower: Empowering will enable open communication, improve trust, encourage the person to take responsibility and control and provide a positive work environment and clear pathway.


The following documents form the Mental Health Toolkit, which provides practical guidance for supervisors to support staff members who may need assistance.






Individuals seeking mental health assistance are also encouraged to contact their GP.