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R U OK? – The Simple Question That Could Change a Life

In the fast-paced world we live in today, where meetings, emails, and deadlines can dominate the lives of many, it can be all too easy to overlook the mental health and emotional well-being of those around us.

The significance of someone’s mental health and emotional well-being, and the impacts it has on their overall wellness, satisfaction, and productivity should never be ignored.

The demands of work and general life can get to the point of feeling overwhelming for some, so the importance of reaching out, connecting, and asking a simple question cannot be overstated.

R U OK? Day is a powerful reminder about the impact that asking a genuine question can have on someone’s life.

Observed nationally on the second Thursday of September, R U OK? Day encourages us all to pause, reflect, and check in with those around us. At WorkingWell, we often see the profound significance that asking such a simple question can have.

Simple questions can have the power to transform lives, and it is essential to recognise our workplaces as a crucial setting for providing a lifeline to those who might be struggling.

By taking time on R U OK? Day to check in with colleagues and genuinely listen to what they have to say, you can help to foster a healthier and more supportive work environment.

We all have a role to play in looking after one another.

This R U OK? Day, we’re joining the call for workplaces to:

  • Reduce the Stigma: Mental health discussions are still shrouded in stigma within many workplaces. R U OK? Day promotes breaking down these barriers by encouraging open conversations. When workers witness peers and leaders starting and valuing these types of conversations, it send a powerful message that mental health matters and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  • Intervene early: Initiating conversations about well-being can help to identify signs of distress early and allow support to be offered before issues escalate. This kind of proactive approach not only benefits a person in distress, but also contributes to maintaining a healthy and harmonious work environment.
  • Build trust and connection: Meaningful connections at work can enhance job satisfaction, productivity, and workplace culture. R U OK? Day creates opportunities for team members to bond on a deeper level, because sharing personal experiences fosters trust and empathy. When someone knows that the people around them genuinely care about their well-being, they are more likely to feel happy, engaged and motivated.
  • Boost Productivity: A workplace that prioritises mental health sees far greater productivity levels. Employees who feel mentally well are better equipped to focus on making informed decisions, collaborating effectively, and completing their tasks to the level required. When workplaces neglect to recognise the importance of mental health, employees are more inclined to experience burnout, decreased performance and elevated absenteeism.
  • Lead by example: Everyone plays a part in shaping workplace culture. By actively participating in R U OK? Day initiatives, people can set a positive precedent for others around them to follow. This is an especially important point for leaders. A top-down participation approach creates an environment where everyone feels encouraged to prioritise their mental well-being.

In a world where the pressures of work can sometimes appear to take precedence over personal well-being, R U OK? Day reminds us of the importance of compassion and connection. By engaging in open conversations, breaking down stigma, and fostering a culture of support, workplace culture can take a step beyond the everyday routine to show that everyone’s mental health and well-being is genuinely cared for.

Remember, a simple question can make a world of difference. R U Ok?

For more information about WorkingWell’s counselling and wellness support resources, visit or call 1300 523 985.

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