Asking one simple question to your colleagues on R U OK? Day is just the first step.
R U OK? Day provides the perfect opportunity to check-in with your teams, connect with them and ask them how they are going.
Now, more than ever, are these moments of connection and conversations important. We've mostly returned to the office and can spend the time together, in person, rather than isolated in our own homes and behind screens.
And, contrary to what you may think, connecting with your staff on R U OK? Day doesn't need to be a daunting task. We're here to help you find the best ways to approach the situation, encourage conversations around mental health and support the wellbeing of your colleagues, especially in the workplace environment.
What is R U OK? Day anyway?
As a non-profit charity, R U OK? encourages "encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives."
It starts with the simple question... are you ok? And it encourages you to ask your friends, family and colleagues how they're really doing.
Lockdowns and working from home have led to many challenges for Australians the past few years. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), between 16 March 2020 and 25 April 2021, more than 15 million Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services were processed.
When is R U OK? Day 2023?
An ideal day of the week to check in with the colleagues we spend so much time with, R U OK? Day falls on Thursday, 14 September in 2023.
Is R U OK? a charity?
Yes, R U OK? is a non-profit charity and cause dedicated to the prevention of suicide which dedicates R U OK? Day.
While, yes, the day is designed for you to speak openly and freely about mental health, donating helps to fund campaigns and resources to help you start these conversations and conduct research around mental health in Australia to help improve how we deliver these messages and start these discussions.
Keen to donate? Visit the R U OK? website for more information.
Host a morning tea in the office
Give everyone a much-deserved mid-morning break with plenty of treats and encourage the team to chat with one another. Most importantly, encourage them to ask the question of the day: R U OK?
Order a box or two of R U OK? Day cupcakes
Cupcakes are an R U OK? Day classic. Plenty of our partners are baking up these individual cakes that are sure to brighten anyone's day. Leave them in the kitchen to grab along with a morning coffee, or include them in your morning tea.
Have a remote team? Send something to them at home
Whether your team is in the office or out, everyone should be considered today. Sending a surprise pack to your employee’s homes can be the perfect way to spread some joy. We've got plenty of hampers and corporate gifts that are the perfect way to let someone know you're thinking of them.
Invite everyone to a team lunch
Get out of the office altogether. Some people may find it hard to talk about their personal lives or how they're feeling in a corporate environment, and a change of atmosphere could help them open up.
And it's not just that, treating your team to a healthy and nutritious lunch can be a great way to show appreciation and that you care about their wellbeing. All individually packed, each person will get their own meal you can eat together as a team, perhaps in a local park. Or, if you've got the budget for it, go to a nearby restaurant.
Take a walk around the block
Not one for talking about feelings? We get it! A simple way to do your part can be suggesting to one of your colleagues getting some fresh air and taking a few laps around the block.
According to the American Psychological Association, getting the recommended amount of physical exercise per week can lower your risk of depression by 25%. And it can be as simply as talking a walk.
Still not sure where to start? Here's four R U OK? Day conversation starters
Not sure how to best start the conversation? Here are some ideas:
- “You’ve got a lot going on right now. How are you doing?”
- “Just checking in to see how you’re going?”
- “I know there have been some big life changes for you recently. How are you going with that?”
- "How are you coping with everything on your plate right now?"
For more resources on how to best support your staff please check out the R U OK Day website.