Here’s how you can help someone manage their panic attacks in the workplace: 

  • If you are in close proximity of someone about to have a panic attack, customer or staff member, the first step would be to ask them if they need assistance. This would give you an idea if they are in need of assistance and also what assistance you can offer.


  • Start by reminding them to take deep breaths. Taking slow deep breaths will help the person slow down their heart rate and it could have an impact on counteracting the light-headedness. It can also help the person feel more aware of themselves. If they are standing get them to sit down and breath. If they are still unsettled get them to breath in a paper bag or even place their head between their legs once they are sitting. The aim is to get them to breath and be more aware.


  • Once you have got the breathing in order remind the person to be aware of where they are. Tell them to speak about what is around them. Remember not all panic attacks are face to face, some might be telephonic. If you are in a high-pressured work environment, it can be stressful. It is for this reason that even reaching out to a trusted loved one in a case of a panic attack can help you restore your self-awareness.


  • Experts indicate that distracting oneself and thinking of a happy place can help improve the results of a panic attack. Think of a place that you feel happy and capitalise on that. The key to overcoming a panic attack is reminding your body to breathe again, to relax and restore is steadiness.


  • Reassure the person that you are there to assist them. A person having the panic attack needs to know they have support. They need to feel that you are not judging them or laughing at them. This is a vulnerable moment for them. It is for this reason that assuring them that you are there to help them.

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