Today is ‘R U Ok? Day’ – a national day of action held every September, dedicated to reminding people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question ‘are you okay?’.
‘R U OK?’ advocate and regional store manager David Thompson stopped to deliver a reminder that the annual event is crucial not only for personal relationships but also in the workplace.
David manages over 2500 different workers across South Australia and said it was part of the job as a manager to make sure his workers mental wellbeing is looked after just as much as their physical health.
“Statistically one in 100 people are negatively impacted by mental illness and it is important to realise that it is quite likely that people you work with are affected and need a support network,” he said.
“It’s just about asking and being aware of any changes in mood or personality.
“Letting people know there are options and lifelines available is really important.”
David reminded workers it was exceptionally important for people working in customer service roles to check up on each other.
“Sometimes working in customer service isn’t so great – people can get quite rude and the customer is always right,” he said.
“It can be really draining and take it’s toll on your mental health.”
Ruokay.org provides some helpful conversation starters and followers to help ask those difficult questions.
Tips include being relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach, listening without judgement and avoiding confrontation.
For more information on R U OK? Day visit https://www.ruok.org.au/join-r-u-ok-day.