Connecting with your staff on R U OK? Day can seem like a daunting task. You might not be sure how to best approach the situation, or how to encourage conversations around mental health and wellbeing especially in the workplace environment. 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. Just because we are socially distancing, does not mean we have to remain distant. As 2021 has brought with it many unprecedented experiences, mental health struggles have seen a rise, even for those who have not previously experienced bouts of mental illness.

Lockdowns and working from home have led to many challenges for Australians the past year. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), between 16 March 2020 and 25 April 2021, over 15 million MBS-subsidised mental health-related services were processed with at least 20% of them being delivered via telehealth.


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To help better understand some questions surrounding R U OK? Day, EatFirst has compiled a list of FAQs and answers regarding R U OK? Day below:

What date is R U OK? Day 2021?

Whilst R U OK? Day 2021 falls on Thursday 9th of September, take the time to always check-in with staff and take action when you believe anyone in your team is showing signs of struggling, not just on R U OK Day.

Is R U OK? a Charity?

However, R U OK? is more than just a date on the calendar, it is a non-profit charity and cause dedicated to the prevention of suicide which dedicates R U OK? Day to encourage and raise awareness for people to bring up the conversation of mental health.

R U OK Day is a great initial way to start the conversation with your staff, friends and loved ones and ask the important question: R U OK?



R U OK Day Ideas For Work

Send Something to Staff’s Homes

Sending a surprise pack to your employee’s homes can be the perfect way to spread some joy. This year, EatFirst have crafted many packages you can send directly to your staff’s homes. Check out these and more ideas below! Or use our catering filters when looking through suppliers.

All States In Australia:

Snack Proud 

The Catering Dept

Chief-Nutrition

Morning Tea Boxes 

If your staff have returned to the office, why not acknowledge the day with a classic morning tea. Single-serve morning tea boxes offer the perfect solution and offer a yummy sweet and savoury mix. They may be individual serves, but the experience is built to be shared over a cup of tea or coffee, as a great conversation starter. Check out these suppliers below:
NSW: Vanilla Blue, Food Geek
QLD:
Entice Me
SA:
South Terrace, Cafe 228
VIC:
Brisk Catering

R U OK Day Cupcakes

Cupcakes are an R U OK Day classic. Yellow cupcakes are a bright and sunny addition to the office and perfect to share with your team. Add them to your 1on1 management meetings for not only a sweet treat but as a way to check-in. 

Check out these suppliers for your office:

NSW: Vanilla Cupcakery, Cakes 2 U
QLD:
Karma Cupcakes
VIC: Little Cupcakes Bakery
WA:
Cupid's Delight
SA:
The Cupcake Lady

A Team Lunch 

Whether you are all together in the office or working from home, treating your team to a healthy and nutritious lunch can be a great way to show appreciation. All individually packed, each person will get their own meal you can eat together as a team. Sometimes, showing your employees a sense of community and fostering positivity in your workplace can be the best action to take.

How to ask R U OK? In 4 Steps

1. ASK

 Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach. 

Ask questions such as: 

"How are you going?” OR "What’s been happening?"  

However, if you are feeling concerned for them, mention specific things such as "You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?" 

  • Don’t criticise them if they don’t want to talk
  • Express your concern and let them know you care about them, 
  • Let them know they can contact you if they ever need to chat!

2. Listen with an open mind 

​​Take what they say seriously and don't interrupt or rush the conversation.

  1. Don't judge their experiences
  2. Wait patiently until they have finished talking
  3. Encourage them to explain 
  4. Show them you have understood them by repeating back to then what you've heard in your own words.

3. Encourage action 

  • Ask: “What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?”
  • Ask: “How would you like me to support you?"
  • Ask: “What’s something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable or relaxing?”
  • Encourage: Seeing a health professional and bringing light to the positive outcomes associated with this.

4. Check In 

It’s important to check in every now and again and let them know you have been thinking about them, and want to know how they have been going since the last chat. 

Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference.


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?"

How to host an R U OK? Day while physically distanced

Host a digital event. 

  • Zoom call morning tea to bring everyone together
  • Have conversation tips ready to go! 
  • Make it exciting by playing a game or adding virtual backgrounds.

Create an online ‘Conversation Corner’.

  • Create a team or group communication channel where you can regularly check in and ask one another, “Are you OK?”. 
  • Share conversation tips and help-seeking information so people know how to respond to someone who is NOT okay.

Share information via email, social and other online channels!

Host a webinar or online discussion

Conversation Starter Pack

Send your team a ‘Conversation Starter Pack’ with items such as an R U OK? mug, conversation cards, tea bags and snacks. 

 Looking for more?

For more resources on how to best support your staff please check out the R U OK Day website.


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