RUOK? Spotlight shone on the importance of checking in with workmate wellbeing

by Freya Lucas

September 12

R U OK? Day, held this year on September 12, is a national day of action, dedicated to reminding everyone, including those working in early childhood education and care (ECEC) to ask “Are you OK?” and to remember every day of the year to support those they work with, who may be struggling to navigate life’s ups and downs. 

 

This year, special emphasis has been placed on encouraging people to trust the signs, trust their gut, and ask “Are you OK?”

 

“We want everyone to feel confident that they know the signs showing someone might need support, by listening to what they’re saying, seeing what they’re doing, or knowing what’s going on in their life. Whenever you notice a change, no matter how small, we want you to trust your gut and start a conversation” a spokesperson said.

 

A variety of resources have been prepared to get ECEC settings talking, and to educate them about the signs which indicate someone is not ok, such as:

 

  • Do they seem confused or irrational? Moody? Unable to switch off? Concerned about the future? Worried about being a burden? Lonely or lacking in self esteem?

 

  • Are they experiencing mood swings? Becoming withdrawn? Changing their online behaviour? Losing interest in what they used to love? Lacking concentration? Less interested in their appearance and personal hygiene?

 

  • Are they experiencing relationship issues, a major health issue, work pressure or financial stress, financial difficulty, or the loss of someone or something they care about?

Rachel Clements is the Director of Psychological Services at the Centre for Corporate Health (CFCH) and a member of the R U OK? Conversation Think Tank. She explained the signs, and how co-workers can talk about this sensitive and important issue.

 

“The signs may be subtle, but it’s likely that you’ll pick up on a number of indicators that someone is struggling. As everyone is different and may respond differently to these thoughts and feelings, it’s important you trust your gut instinct when you notice a shift or change in someone and reach out to them,” she said.

To access the full range of resources developed to support RUOK? Day in the workplace, please see here.

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