September 8, 2022

R U OK? Day: A conversation could change a life

Are you OK? It’s a simple question, yet can have a life changing¬†impact.

R U OK? Day is a chance for us to pause, reflect and evaluate how we can better support ourselves and each other. A friendly smile, a coffee catch up or a wave in the hallway can go a long way in making a difference.

This national day of action reminds us that it’s important to ask today, and every day, ‘Are you OK?’ – and to start meaningful conversations with our friends, family, peers and colleagues.

Michelle Fenwick, Executive Director, People and Culture, said, “Taking one day to think about and talk about R U OK is really important. But imagine if we pledge to do this once a week. I wonder what a difference that would make!”

In recognition of R U OK? Day, there are a number of initiatives and activities taking place across Northern Health.

Giant chocolate freckles will be distributed to teams and departments today, for staff to enjoy a treat while talking to a friend or colleague. There are also a number of support resources available for staff, which can be found here.

A webinar will be hosted by Susie Zielin, Psychologist at Cathartic Consulting, today at 2.30 pm. The webinar will provide staff with tips on how to recognise the signs and symptoms of those in need of support, and how to feel confident when asking the R U OK? question. Susie will also discuss how to refer friends and colleagues to support services, and what that support looks like. You can join the webinar here.

At Northern Hospital Epping, the wellbeing and support team from the Junior Medical Staff Association (JMSA), have organised a lunch with board games, to gather everyone together for a fun time, but most importantly to get conversations rolling.

“R U OK? Day is an Australian-wide movement to open the conversation with those around us struggling with life. The JMSA got behind the movement during the immense challenges healthcare workers faced during the past few years. Today is a day to pause in the busyness of our lives to check in with our colleagues, and ask the question, R U OK?” said Dr Natina Monteleone, JMSA Wellbeing and Support Coordinator.

“We would also like to thank all our volunteers who helped to run this event,” Natina added.

Check in with your colleagues, peers and loved ones today, and every day, and remember, it is OK to not be OK.

Featured image: Junior Medical Officers, Catherine and Jacob, with goodies to share amongst the JMSA.