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R U Okay at Work?

If someone asked how you were going at work today, where would you truthfully place yourself on a mood scale?

Thriving?  Just surviving? Or Struggling?

According to the to the R U OK? at Work national survey – released earlier this month – more than a third of Australian “feel tense or stressed during their work day and almost 13 per cent do not feel emotionally and physically safe at work”

R U OK? is an independent, not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is
to provide national focus and leadership on suicide prevention by
empowering Australians to have open and honest conversations and stay
connected with people in their lives.

Director of the R U OK? at Work program, Graeme Cowan, says the results of their survey show that only 50% of workers believe there are strategies in place to deal with a crisis. “These results suggest the most vulnerable people do not seek help. Managers are letting them fall through the gaps,” Cowan says.

That’s why R U OK? Day –  on September 15 – was established in 2009.  It’s a national day of action which aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones.

September 15 will see people all across Australia, in workplaces, schools, uniersities and families, asking their colleagues, relatives and friends: Are you OK?

According to the R U Ok?Day organisers:

Staying connected with others is crucial to our general health and wellbeing. Feeling isolated or hopeless can contribute to depression and other mental illnesses, which can ultimately result in suicide. Regular, meaningful conversations can protect those we know and love.

It’s so simple. In the time it takes to have a coffee, you can start a conversation that could change a life.

If you’re already working in an organisation, it’s seriously easy to get involved: all you need to do is, take time out for a coffee or a break on Thursday
September 15 and start a conversation with someone you care about – an employee, a manager, a colleague, a friend.

There’s resources and information on how to ask someone if they’re okay, and to support them if they need it, on the R U Okay website.  There’s also fliers, posters and information guides to help you publicise R U Okay?Day at your workplace.

In 2010, R U OK?Day generated more than 2 million conversations and over 700 organisations took place in the R U OK? at Work initiative.  This year, EthicalJobs.com.au is one of the many organisations registering to participate, and we’d love to encourage you to participate too, whether you’re already working in an ethical job, studying, or looking for that dream job.

From R U Ok?:

What employees can do to help colleagues?

1.    Learn how to ask “Are you OK?” to someone you think may be struggling and encourage them to seek expert help – to access free guides register your business at www.ruokday.com.au

2.    Encourage your team to participate in RUOK?atWork on Thursday September 15.

3.    Consider walking meetings. A Harvard study shows they produce high quality outcomes in 20% less time.

What can managers do to help employees?

1.    Examine why most employees don’t believe there are systems in place to stop little problems turning into big ones.

2.    Consider how you can better encourage physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace

3.    How can you better communicate to employees the societal benefits of your organisation’s mission and build in better recognition practices?

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