Office 1, 122B Belmore Road, Randwick, Sydney, NSW 2031

How to Spot the Signs: Mental Illness in the Workplace

August marked the start of Tradies Health Month. The Australian Physiotherapy Association is raising awareness around the physical risks of being a tradesman and encouraging tradies to seek advice and treatment on how to manage existing injuries. As well as helping them to be proactive about their health so that they reduce the risk of injury in the first place.

In line with Tradies National Health Month Brix Projects would like to help raise awareness for both the physical risks and the mental risks associated with working in the Construction Industry in Australia. In today’ blog we are going to look at key signs to look out for if you have concerns that a work colleague or employee is going through a difficult time.

Tony Rush Operations Manager who plays the vital role of a MATES connector in the industry, shares some of the signs he looks out for with candidates

 Looking for signs can be a difficult one as everyone has different personalities. If I see someone that is usually bubbly and energetic it can be more obvious to notice when they are feeling down. When I see people that are a little more reserved and they are all of a sudden very jovial and happy it can be a sign that they have come to terms with a decision they have made a way to end all of their problems and with the decision of suicide.

Below are 6 signs that might alert you to a friend or work colleague who is struggling with Mental Illness.

Changes in Time Keeping

Changes in work habits are often put down to poor performance, when the root cause is actually a mental health concern. Depression often causes sleep disturbances, with sufferers either finding it hard to fall asleep, or having difficulty staying asleep.

Missing days on site, calling in sick more often, turning up late and lower-than-normal productivity isn’t necessarily a performance management issue, so it’s important to look out for this sign

Changes in Physical Appearance

If a coworker who typically arrives for work immaculately groomed starts regularly showing up to site unshaven or dressed inappropriately might be a sign that you need to intervene. Poor hygiene habits and generally looking scruffy are an indication that they’re having difficulty coping.

Unnecessary fear or worry

Employees with mental health problems may be paranoid about co-workers or employers, anxious about keeping their job, have fears about unnecessary things, etc. These fears and anxieties are typically beyond normal rationale.

If a colleague becomes excessively nervous or worrisome, this could be a sign of depression. People suffering from depression may blow things out of proportion, worry about things that really don’t matter. They may also find it difficult to accept praise when they have achieved something.


Dramatic changes in personality can indicate mental health struggles. If someone who is usually easygoing at work suddenly becomes irritable and snappy or is tense or acting in unusual ways, these are all changes to look out for.

Seeming withdrawn or avoiding social interaction

An unwillingness to communicate, seeming withdrawn or self-imposed isolation can be a sign of mental illness. If a co-worker seems to avoid engaging socially with other team members, it could be cause for concern.

Reckless Behaviour

People with severe depression tend to reach a place where they hardly care about themselves at all. Reckless behavior can include abusing alcohol or drugs or gambling. If depression has taken hold of someone, they may not even care if it seems to interfere with work. It doesn’t mean that they don’t want, or need, help.

At BriX Projects our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees, which is why we have such a strong process in place and are supportive of their needs. But we need you to talk to us and let us know when you’re having problems so we can help.

Tony Rush (National Recruitment and Operations Manager and MATES Connector)


T: 02 9326 7541

Our Locations


Australia, Sydney (Head Office)
Office 1, 122B Belmore Road
Randwick NSW 2031
Phone: 1800 621 066


Level 2, 215/219 George Street
Liverpool NSW 2170
Phone: 1800 621 066

120/33 Thornton St
Surfers Paradise QLD 4218
P: 1800 621 066
F: +61 2 5301 6166


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103 Colmore Row
Birmingham City
P: + 44 121 427 7023
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1 Fair Street
Cork City
P: + 353 62 467 145
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