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Episode 12 - What to do about a mental health issue?

The scene – 4.00pm – a black cab driving through central London

Hamish and Conrad – the latest trainee to join FFS – are in a black cab on their way back to the office from a successful new client meeting. The traffic is heavy and the cab is barely moving, so Hamish decides to take the opportunity to let Conrad know that his first client meeting went well, and that he did a good job. “I thought that meeting went really well,” he remarks, “and the client was obviously impressed.”

Conrad shrugs non-committally, and looks out the window. “Conrad?”, asks Hamish, “don’t you think the meeting was a success? You must have been a bit nervous, I remember I was when I had my first new client meeting as a trainee.” Conrad doesn’t turn around, just stares even more fixedly out the window.

“Conrad?” Hamish tries again. “Is everything okay? I know you’ve only been with us a few months, but I was wondering if you’re alright because you seem to be a lot quieter than when you started. I’ve also noticed that you’ve been coming into work late recently, which doesn’t seem like you.”

“I’m fine,” mutters Conrad, still not turning around. “I’m okay, I just need to get used to this environment, and to my workload.” “Is there anything I can do to help?” asks Hamish. “Perhaps we can talk through exactly what the issues are, and we can see what we can do about it.”

“I don’t need help!” shouts Conrad, turning around finally. “I’m fine! I just need to.. to get a grip, that’s all!” Then, to Hamish’s consternation, he notices tears rolling down Conrad’s face. Awkwardly he fishes out his handkerchief and silently hands it to the sobbing trainee.

Have your say

How should Hamish take the situation forward?

Episode 12 - What to do about a mental health issue

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What do you think is the best way to handle a colleague’s mental health issue? How do you think firms should deal with it?

You can choose to add your name and any contact details - otherwise comments will be anonymous. Up to you.


# Elizabeth Rimmer 2017-05-12 09:11
LawCare is here to listen to people like Conrad, who sounds as if he's suffering from stress. This is the main reason people call our helpline 0800 279 6888. We also have a wealth of information and resources at
+1 # Simon McCall 2017-05-12 10:46
Please just don't leave Conrad to tough it out. Prince Harry anyone???
# Simon McCall 2017-05-15 12:00
It's a cop out to do nothing. In these circumstances "I'm fine" does not mean "I'm fine"!
# Lise Seager 2017-05-15 16:35
There's no HR department at my firm and I certainly wouldn't go to the partner in charge of HR - it's all about processes and procedure. We have to rely on each other for support, not the partners and if that doesn't work, then people have no choice but to find somewhere else to work.
# Mac Mackay 2017-05-27 12:19
If you had a staff member dragging themselves into the office with a streaming cold / flu and running a temperature, you'd tell them to go home and get some rest. If it persisted, you'd advise them to go to their doctor. Employers have the same responsibility to employee mental health - and depression is no different: they should be advised to seek professional help through their GP.

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