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.
How should Hamish take the situation forward?
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?
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