This is a common response that members have. A brigade works for a community and is a community within itself. It’s necessary and important for us to look out for each other. Many times we see behaviour of our colleagues changing and yet aren’t quite sure how to start a discussion about this.
The RUOK Day website has some great tips on how to do this http://www.ruokday.com.au/content/how-to-start-a-ruok-conversation.aspx
Ask RUOK? - Start a general conversation somewhere private - Build trust through good eye contact, open and relaxed body language. Ask open–ended questions to discuss concerns based on their behaviour.
Listen without judgement - Guide the conversation with caring questions. The more they talk the better. A problem shared is a problem halved. Don’t rush to solve problems for them. It is better to have a full understanding of the issues. Listen to the person without judging them as lazy or weak. They are trying to cope as best they can. Don’t give advice like “cheer up” or “pull yourself together” or “you’ll be right mate”. It is important to let them know that it is good they are discussing it.
Encourage actions. - Summarise the issues and ask them what they plan to do. Encourage them to take one step, such as see their doctor. It is essential to follow up. Nothing changes until someone acts.
Follow up - People who are really struggling often find it difficult to take action. Therefore, it is very important to follow up on how they are going. Put a note in your diary to call them in one week. If they are desperate, follow up with them sooner. Ask if they have managed to take that first step and see someone.
Dealing with denial? - If they deny the problem, do not criticize them. Acknowledge they are not ready to talk. Say you are still concerned about changes in their behaviour. Ask if you can enquire again next week if there is no improvement.
You can also read the first article in this series by clicking on the link below