R U OK? Day has come and gone for another year and as a RUOK Ambassador I feel it’s so important to not only roll out wellness and wellbeing programs in your organisation, but to evaluate the culture being cultivated across the recruitment industry. Workplaces need to be asking staff all year round: “are you ok?”
For the past two years I have been an R U OK? Ambassador and speaking in workplaces across Australia one thing that has stood out to me - we need to make more effort to incorporate mental health and the message of R U OK? Day as a culture within the organisations.
The sad reality is every eight minutes in Australia, someone is making an attempt on their life and an average of eight people die each day to suicide, more than 3,300 a year.
One in four people will experience mental health illness at some point in their life.
Look around you and your team and think for a minute who may be struggling on your team right now. Is there anyone on your team you can reach out to and be a listening ear or support in their time of need?
A conversation which starts with a simple “are you okay?”can change the life of the person you are connecting with.
One thing that surprised me in my talks this year was that when I asked for a show of hands of who feels they would be equipped to have a conversation with someone they know struggling with mental health. Only a handful in a room of 50-plus people said they felt they could help someone struggling with life.
More positively, when asked if they had the information and resources such as being able to recognise when someone needs support and assistance, they said they would feel confident enough to reach out and be that support.
How to help
In each talk I give on this topic, we go through four steps to having a conversation with someone who is not ok and needing support.