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Mental Health Toolkit for Supervisors

  • Aim, Format and Benefits of the Toolkit

    Aim and Format

    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 is 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 each letter of “L” “I” “F” “E” or 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 (see print buttons below) or complete the tool on-line and then save the document(s) in a secure location e.g. U:\.
    • Complete the checklists by checking what is relevant and the actions you should consider/complete.
      If completing on-line use your mouse to check the boxes.
    • Review what not to do as you progress.  (i.e. refer to the listing at the bottom right hand corner of each page.)
    • Use the notes page to commence recording your findings, key points during conversations and agreed actions (see print buttons below).
    • 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 (ext 35904/30174), HR Advisors (ext 31111) or EAP Counselling/Manager Assist (8352 9898).
  • Quick Reference Guide

    Quick Reference

  • 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, HR Policy and Injury Management, Deb Coulls or Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, Louise Dunn

Look Identify Face Empower EAP anxiety stress depression sleep procrastination top tips Unithrive Beyond Blue R U OK life line Conversations staff training module Print Notes Print Toolkit


Contact HR Service Centre

For all enquiries please contact the Human Resources Service Centre.

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