In Australia roughly 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt every year, with around 2320 (average) successful attempts – that’s 6 every day! Of 2320, each year 190 members of the mining and resources community make up part of that number, the highest in any industry in Australia. One mining/construction worker takes their life every two days. Those numbers are real, they affect everyone who works in the sector at some point, and its time everyone started talking about it. Did you know that 45 per cent of Australians will experience mental illness in their lifetime?
If you haven’t heard of R U OK? Day, it’s just around the corner, R U OK? Day is a prompt to start a conversation with someone you may work with, someone in your family, friends, or even YOU, about depression, suicide and dealing with everyday struggles we deal with in this industry.
This September 13th is dedicated to asking people you think may be suffering a little or a lot, if they are ok. It’s the perfect time to start asking this question more regularly, to many more people.
R U OK? is a not-for-profit suicide prevention organisation founded by Australian man Gavin Larkin in 2009 and works collaboratively with experts in suicide prevention and mental illness, as well as government departments, corporate leaders, teachers, universities, students and community groups.
This year take some time out of your day to ask the question, “Are you ok?” It’s time to make a culture change in the workplace. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is in your best interests to create a culture where people feel confident asking and answering this simple yet important question. These types of conversations can change someone’s life more than you know.
R U OK? has developed four conversation steps to give you the skills and confidence to navigate a conversation with someone you’re worried about.
Here are some simple ways to do that and encourage your workplace to join the Conversation Movement!
- Learn R U OK?’s 4 conversation steps
- Run an R U OK? event (R U OK has many resources to help you do this)
- Choose the resource kit that will resonate best in your workplace
- Ask someone well-known and respected at work to send out the initial email and communication with staff. It’s a good way to ensure your workmate’s read it
- Send out the resources and R U OK? messaging at a thoughtful time (for example: around staff reviews, on the completion of a large project, at the end of the financial year).
- Put up R U OK? posters and resources in popular hang-out areas, as people need to see a message a few times for it to sink in.
- Include a story that shows the power of conversation in your employee newsletter or communications (a heartfelt story by an employee is always good or you can use one of our inspiring videos)
- Mention the campaign at any relevant forums
- Ask the question
Are you thinking about suicide?
You are not alone. Help is available.
These services are available to help you now:
|Lifeline: call 13 11 14, use online crisis chat or read their website for self-help tools and more information.|
|Suicide Call Back Service: call 1300 659 467, register for online counselling or read their website for practical tips and information.|
|Kids Helpline: call 1800 55 1800, use web or email counselling or read their website for info and stories.|
|MensLine Australia: call 1300 78 99 78, register for online chat counselling or video counselling or read the tools and information.|