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Feeling supported at work is very important

Considering how much time we spend at work, employers and coworkers are well placed to notice if a new parent isn’t their usual self. Colleagues at work can do a lot to help a new mother or father feel valued and connected and help them in their recovery.

What Employers and Coworkers can do?


Postpartum depression and anxiety can make it harder for new parents to get through their regular work duties. Your support as an employer and co-worker could make a real difference to new parents. Help them to continue working while they get through this time. In fact, staying at work might play a big part in their recovery. Working, whether paid or unpaid, is good for everyone's health and wellbeing.

Work has many benefits for us all including:

  • Helping us stay active

  • Helping us to build confidence and self-esteem

  • Providing a sense of community and belonging

  • Allowing us to feel that we’re making a contribution to society and our family

  • Contributing to our happiness

  • Giving structure to days and weeks

  • Financial security

Here are some things you, as a coworker, could do to help:

  • Have a casual check-in – Are you ok? How’s your workload? How are your energy levels?

  • Go for a walk together at lunchtime

  • Make sure they eat a healthy lunch

  • Make sure they drink plenty of water

  • Keep them connected with their other coworkers

  • Be supportive if they need to talk to a manager about their struggles

  • Don’t treat them differently, but do not overload them with duties either

  • If your coworker (a new parent) shares their thoughts around suicide or self/baby-harm, urgent help is needed. Keeping secrets when it comes to suicide and self-harm can be unhelpful to both you and new parent. Talk with someone else or call a helpline to discuss your concerns.

  • Always ask permission to contact services on a person’s behalf however if you feel they are in immediate danger and they won’t give permission you may need to go against them.

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