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Episode 15 - What to do about a mental health issue, part two.


The scene – 4.45pm – a black cab stopped outside FFS

Hamish and Conrad – the latest trainee to join FFS – are getting out of a black cab in front of the office after a successful new client meeting. There is complete silence, and Hamish is unsure how to respond after Conrad started crying during the journey.

As they turn towards the building he puts his hand on Conrad’s shoulder: ‘Let’s get a coffee, I’ll call and let them know we’re delayed after the meeting.” Conrad just nods, and lets himself be guided into the cafe close by.

Once seated with coffees in front of them, Hamish tries again, asking Conrad what he thinks is the issue. He reminds Conrad that he’s become a lot quieter since he joined, and has also been coming in late sometimes, again not really like him.

Conrad doesn’t cry this time, but stays quiet, pulling apart the napkin in front of him. “This is in confidence Conrad, nobody needs to know anything, it’s between us,” Hamish reassures him. Conrad takes a deep breath and then it pours out: how being a trainee is not at all what he expected, that he feels very under pressure to perform and that he’s being judged, that he feels tired all the time but can’t sleep, and that he feels anxious about his work and his ability to do it well.

Hamish lets him speak, and tells him he’s glad Conrad had the faith in him to tell him how he’s feeling. ‘Let’s think about what we should do next,” he says. “Let’s meet again in a few days’ time to see if we can come up with a plan.”

Have your say

How should Hamish take the situation forward?

Episode 15 - What to do about a mental health issue , part two. Poll

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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 2017-06-23 16:16
We know that talking about mental health in work can cause a shift in the culture, and goes a long way towards tackling stigma. If you'd like support with a professional issue, call LawCare's Helpline on 0800 279 6888 or visit
# Simon McCall 2017-06-25 15:01
Good on you Hamish! So many people wouldn't have the confidence or patience to ask and listen the way you have.
# Simon McCall 2017-06-25 15:08
Hamish could ask Conrad what he would like him to do - what support he would like. Not that he would necessarily just do what he said - but let Conrad have some of the responsibility for dealing with his own problems.
# Mac Mackay 2017-08-10 14:13
It is not easy to judge Hamish's ability to offer the 'support and mentoring' to match Conrad's needs. It is great that Hamish is there for Conrad; often that is all that many people need. GP's should be in a better place to assess any clinical depression situation and whether further professional help is needed: that is why I was split between the last two options.

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