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.
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?”.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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