R U OK? releases new resources ahead of 10 September, R U OK? Day
New resources have been released to encourage more business leaders, owners and employees to build an R U OK? Culture in their workplace ahead of the September 10 R U OK? Day which encourages potentially life saving conversations about mental health.
The R U OK? Workplace Champions Guide promotes peer-to-peer support and regular meaningful conversations amongst colleagues in the workplace, with R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton saying that for an R U OK? conversation to be meaningful it must be authentic and involve a level of trust between people who know each other and are familiar with each other’s routines and behaviours.
“When we live, socialise or work closely alongside someone, we can be the first to spot changes that might indicate someone is struggling,” Ms Newton said.
While many workplaces are already beginning to plan activities for R U OK?Day Ms Newton highlighted that organisations need to provide opportunities for authentic connections in a quiet, comfortable and safe environment, not only on R U OK? day but all year round.
“Building a culture of asking R U OK? is one action organisations can take that demonstrates they are genuine in their intention to provide a connected workplace for all staff and are serious about providing a mentally healthy workplace and supporting suicide prevention efforts,” she added.
Workplace initiatives are often more successful when they are driven by ‘champions’ in the workplace, and R U OK? Day is no exception.
“Champions are the ‘beating heart’ of change and can be the motivating force to drive a commitment to an R U OK? Culture within a workplace,” Ms Newton explained.
“They provide a familiar relevant face and can enhance feelings of belonging and trust. Our new resources will provide a framework to help R U OK? Workplace Champions build an R U OK? Culture.”
In a mentally healthy workplace culture, employees are encouraged to talk about the challenges they might be experiencing in a judgement free environment where they feel psychologically safe and supported.
Currently in Australia, according to a survey commissioned by R U OK?, only half of the country’s workers feel supported and valued at work, believe their manager genuinely cares about their wellbeing, or feel a sense of belonging and connection to their workplace.
In happier findings, 85 per cent of workers said they would help a workmate who was struggling with life. The next step to build on those findings, Ms Newton said, “is to ensure we equip all workers with the skills to navigate a meaningful conversation.”
The theme for R U OK? Day in 2020 is “there’s more to say after R U OK?”, with the new resources supporting the theme including:
- R U OK? Champions Guide,
- Workplace Action Plan and
- Workplace Promise
Designed for any sector or industry across Australia. The R U OK? Workplace Champions resources have been developed with the support of Avis Budget Group, and may be accessed here.