1 min read

Ask 'R U OK?' in your workplace

Today, 14 September, is R U OK? Day. This is an important day for your business to focus on having conversations about the risk of suicide and to assist in its prevention.

The R U OK? campaign, which had its genesis in the real-life experience of its founder who lost his father to suicide, is a good opportunity to reflect on what steps your organisation is taking to improve mental health in the workplace. The recent focus nationally on improving the psychosocial health of all Australians at work is an important context for this year’s R U OK? Day as well.

The philosophy behind the campaign is straight-forward. By asking the simple question of someone whether they are ok, you are starting a conversation that may lead to a vulnerable person seeking assistance and potentially prevent suicide.

Improving connection between people is the key, with the expectation that by creating closer links that the risk of harm is reduced. Once you’ve asked the question, the next step is to genuinely take the time to listen to the answer.

Mental health impacts a wide cross-section of the community, and workplaces themselves can also adversely impact mental health through psychosocial hazards.

The importance of R U OK? Day is that it provides a good focus for organisations to examine and improve their framework for promoting a supportive work environment aimed at reducing stress and eliminating bullying.

So, this R U OK? Day, make sure you hold an event and promote a very important issue for all your staff. And if you need ideas, the R U OK? website has resources to assist you.

Image: Sourced from the R U OK? Day publicly available resources from the website.

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