Managing Distress in the Workplace

Managing Distress and Supportive Conversations in the Workplace

The causes of distress can be many and varied. How one person reacts or responds to a certain situation will be different from that of another. It is also important to note that just because someone is distressed or ‘stressed’ does not necessarily imply that they have a mental health problem. The purpose of this training is not to consider a diagnosis of mental health problems (whilst it is appropriate to be aware of the possibility of a mental health problem existing) as it is more important to consider early recognition and appropriate responses to emotional and mental distress that may prevent continuing problems or a mental health problem manifesting.

At times supervisors and managers can feel unsure as to how to approach someone who is distressed – the fear of intruding, making matters worse or not knowing what to say can leave a manager/supervisor feeling ineffective and powerless; and the individual in distress is left feeling undervalued, isolated and vulnerable.

A practical skills-based approach for supervisors and line managers, this is a 1-day training course for between 6 and 16 participants.

Managing Distress in the Workplace | Golden Tree CICThe training follows a 5Rs approach:

  • Recognise – spot the signs of (di)stress (including signs and symptoms of mental health problems
  • Respond – appropriate responses and improved listening skills following the mnemonic ‘CATCH’ –
    • Compassion
    • ASK
    • Talk and Listen
    • Communicate
    • Help
  • Refer – self-help as well as organisational assistance
  • Record – internal mechanisms/data protection issues and confidentiality
  • Review – check in and future support


  • To develop skills that will support the recognition and management of distress in the workplace.


By the end of the training participants will:

  • Recognise the ways in which distress can manifest in the workplace
  • Have reflected on their personal ‘working style’
  • Have strategies and improved confidence in responding to distress and facilitating reflective conversations 
  • Have strategies to support staff resilience
  • Have strategies to respond to distress appropriately
  • Have improved confidence in managing staff experiencing distress

Are you interested or need more information about Managing Distress?

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