Health workers encouraged to ask R U OK?
With an estimated 13 million Australians aware of R U OK? Day and 1 in 5 taking part in 2011, this year’s R U OK? Day on September 13 is set to encourage even more Australians health workers to stop little problems becoming bigger by asking someone, ‘Are you ok?’
Millions of people asked the question last year, including Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, actors Hugh Jackman, Jack Thompson and Naomi Watts, and sporting heroes Wendell Sailor and Libby Trickett.
The national day of action is dedicated to helping reduce Australia’s high suicide rate and was launched in Australian Parliament in 2009 by the late Gavin Larkin OAM whose own father took his life in 1995.
R U OK? Day aims to inspire all Australians to take responsibility for people in their lives who may be struggling and need an opportunity to say ‘I’m not ok’ to a friend or family member. R U OK? Co--founder and CEO, Janina Nearn, says anyone can get involved in the campaign by simply reaching out to a colleague, friend or loved one.
‘We want all Australians to take a moment to check in with someone and ask, ‘Are you ok?’ A conversation could change a life,’ she says.
Suicide prevention expert and Chair of the R U OK? Scientific Advisory Group, Professor Graham Martin OAM, says regular connection with family, friends and peers, can help build a stronger and more resilient community; protecting the people we know and love.
‘You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time, you just need to BE there, be able to listen without judgement, and take the time to follow up,’ Professor Martin says.
‘It’s very common to feel alone when going through difficult times but helping someone admit they’re not ok is the first step to getting support.’
The R U OK? health focus:
- Encourage health professionals to look after their own well-being
- Educate health professionals about how to manage difficult situations
- Empower health professionals to say ‘I’m not ok’ when struggling with a problem, big or small
- Help people respond appropriately to a colleague who says, ‘I’m not ok.’
- Educate people about how and where to access help
- Cultivate a positive workplace community and reduce workplace stress
Remember that you can:
- Start a conversation at a national level about the importance of connection amongst health professionals
- Stop little problems becoming bigger by helping your colleagues effectively manage difficult situations
Please check out the images above for a variety of rescources for mental health advice and assistance.