Last year I met Graeme Cowan, the man behind RUOK? DAY – and I was immediately moved by his message. I did my utmost to spread the message last year and I will again this year. There may be someone closer to you than you realise who is suffering from some form depression, particularly in light of the financial challenges of the past 18 months. Reach out and ask those who you instinctively know may need some help – and then reach out to the others just in case. To find out more please read the following.
RUOK DAY – October 7, 2010
Is there someone close to you who has experienced stress, depression or anxiety? If you are like 87% of Australians, you will know someone is this situation.
This year RUOK? Day is on Thursday October 7. On this day Australians are encouraged to reach out to someone they are concerned about and ask “Are you OK?”. A conversation could change a life.
Last year, post RUOK? Day research showed that over 650,000 conversations took place, and we are confident that this will be greatly increased this year.
For those interested in their workplace participating, a group has been set up to discuss lessons from last year, and share ideas for making this year even bigger.
RUOK? Day is about stopping small problems becoming big problems.
The group is called “R U OK? Day (7th October 2010)”
Please consider joining this group and adding your ideas.
R U OK? Day (7th October 2010)
According to a recent Medicare Private report, stress and low mood account for 33% of lost productivity in Australia. This presenteeism(employees at work, but not fully functioning) and absenteeism are directly costing Australian employers $10.11b per year.
Since the report 2 years ago, workplace counselling for anxiety and stress has increased 68% and 76% respectively (Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, Australia’s largest EAP provider). Despite this extraordinary situation, only 9% of people with mood disorders feel comfortable discussing it with their work colleagues… R U OK? Day was first created to help break down this stigma and build more supportive and engaged communities and work environments.
By simply starting a conversation with someone who might be doing it tough, you can make a difference. It’s about preventing small problems becoming big problems. In it’s first year (2009) 1.3 million Australians – and 300 businesses – took part with over 650,000 conversations held. R U OK? Day 2010 invites employees to dedicate a small amount of time on the 7th October to contact anyone in their lives who may be struggling and to ask R U OK? Everything required to take part is free and available on www.ruokday.com.au
Ultimately it’s about helping to reduce Australia’s shockingly high suicide rate by simply connecting with others and asking R U OK? Over 2,500 Australians take their lives every year and up to 15 times that attempt suicide. R U OK? Day is not about raising money – It’s about creating the environment for – and improving – emotional support and saving lives.
This LinkedIn group will focus on working with the Human Resources community in Australia in an effort to raise awareness of – and participation in – R U OK?Day on the 7th October 2010. Questions about R U OK? in general, or R U OK?Day on the 7th October can be directed to Paul Di Michiel at email: firstname.lastname@example.org).