NSCA Foundation

Employers urged to 'trust the signs' this R U OK?Day

Monday, 09 September, 2019

Employers urged to 'trust the signs' this R U OK?Day

National suicide prevention charity R U OK? is urging Australians to ‘Trust the signs’ and their gut instincts and ask anyone that may be struggling with life’s ups and downs: “Are you OK?” this 12 September ‘R U OK?Day’. According to the charity, “‘R U OK?Day’ is a national day of action and a reminder that every day is the right day to meaningfully connect with those around us” — including workers and colleagues — “and ask a question that could change a life, ‘Are you OK?’”

For employers, asking a worker if they are OK when someone notices they are becoming stressed can be part of maintaining a mentally safe and healthy workplace. However, research commissioned by R U OK? found that nearly two-thirds of Australians are not confident they know the signs that someone may be struggling with life and 41% had not asked someone if they were OK because they were not sure they knew the signs. Fortunately, 49% said they would be more confident starting a conversation if they did know the signs.

To help people understand the signs, R U OK? broke them down into three categories: things people might say, do or be facing in life. For example, someone that is struggling with their mental health might say something that indicates a persistent drop in mood, they are struggling to see a future, believe they are a burden to others or feel worthless, alone, trapped or in unbearable pain. They might also say things that sound more irrational or confused, complain they have difficulty switching off or talk about death, suicide or wanting to die.

Employers might also notice changes in a worker’s mood, behaviour and ability to concentrate, or hear that a worker is experiencing work or home stress, financial difficulty, loss of something or someone they care about, major health issues, relationship breakdown or study pressures. In these cases, early intervention can help prevent their condition worsening and support recovery. As a result, R U OK? is encouraging all Australians to learn the signs and hold meaningful conversations across their communities and workplaces. For more information on how to get involved in R U OK?Day, visit: www.ruok.org.au/join-r-u-ok-day.

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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