Life-size checkers and cookie decorating: mammoth support for R U OK? Day at Western Sydney hospitals

Westmead Hospital intensive care unit staff Christine, Sherrie and Tracey-Lee show their support for R U OK? Day.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) facilities and staff were draped in yellow and black ‘R U OK? Day’ paraphernalia today, as the organisation embraced an important national mental health initiative.

Staff at Mount Druitt Hospital ask RU OK? today.

R U OK? Day is dedicated to wellbeing and asking others “are you OK?”. This year’s theme is “Trust the Signs, Trust your Gut & Ask R U OK?”.

Face painting at Blacktown Hospital

Several events were on offer including mindfulness sessions hosted by Employee Assistance Program provider Access EAP, information stalls with tips and advice on how to spark an R U OK conversation, and staff gatherings in various wards.  

Staff from the orthopaedics ward at Westmead Hospital hosted a morning tea and gave out R U OK? Day cards to patients.

Blacktown Hospital offered staff free activities including life-size chess, face painting and cookie decorating.  

Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals’ general manager Ned Katrib encouraged staff to support the R U OK Day? message.

Western Sydney Local Health District’s population health team pose for a snap at Cumberland Hospital.

“Remember, you don’t need to be an expert to reach out to someone – just a good listener.”

Westmead and Auburn hospitals general manager Brett Thompson encouraged healthcare staff to check in on each other.

An information stall was available to staff at Westmead Hospital.

“Working in health can be challenging and these conversations can make a real difference to a colleague who may be going through a tough time,” Brett said.

Life-size chess at Blacktown Hospital marks R U OK? Day.

Throughout September, staff can access a 30 minute R U OK? Day webinar recorded by AccessEAP. Click here to watch the webinar anytime this month on your computer or mobile.

For support and advice on how to approach the ‘R U OK?’ conversation and how to respond if the answer is ‘no’, here’s a helpful guide from a WSLHD clinical psychologist.

Ever played Connect 4 like this? Staff versed each other at Blacktown Hospital’s R U OK? Day event.

If you need support, the following organisations are available to help:

Mental Health Hotline (Open 24 Hours) – 1800 011 511

Doctors Health Advisory Unit Helpline (NSW) – 02 9437 6552

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46  36

Suicide Callback Service – 1300 659 467

Men’s Help – 1300 78 99 78

JMO Support Line – 1300 566 321