On Thursday 9 September 2021, organisations around Australia will prompt conversations about a difficult subject that affects a large portion of the Australian workforce – the risk of suicide.
R U OK? is a charity aimed at raising awareness of the risk of suicide and to assist in its prevention. R U OK? Day is an important occasion when your organisation can promote the steps it is taking to improve mental health in the workplace. And it probably goes without saying that the pressure of the pandemic on all Australians only heightens the importance of this issue and the need for people to connect.
To make an impact on the day, the task is simple.
Encourage your staff to ask someone they work with whether they are ok. By taking this simple step, it is possible to initiate a conversation that may lead to a vulnerable person seeking assistance and potentially prevent suicide.
The key is the feeling of connection between people. Improve that connection then the risk of harm is reduced. Genuinely taking the time to listen to the answer to the question of ‘are you ok?’ is an important step in making that connection stronger. For more information, try the webinar conducted by R U OK? Day organisers. Click here to register.
Quite apart from the pressures of the pandemic, workers can be at risk of developing mental health issues if there has been any history of job insecurity, long working hours, bullying or poor communication.
So use an event such as R U OK? Day to consider how your business approaches mental health and assess whether there are effective processes in place to promote health and well-being.
Training of staff and good management that promotes a supportive work environment will assist to reduce stress and eliminate bullying.
At your R U OK? Day event, you can reinforce the processes you already have in place, which might include:
- peer-to-peer support programs;
- health and well-being programs;
- Employee Assistance Plan; and
- anti-bullying policies.