In 1995, much-loved Barry Larkin was far from OK. His suicide left his family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions.  In 2009, his son Gavin chose to champion just one question to honour his father and to try and protect other families from the pain he endured.

That question was “Are you OK?”

If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Gavin collaborated with a team of filmmakers to raise suicide awareness through a documentary, but they soon realised that this wasn’t enough. To genuinely raise suicide awareness a national campaign was needed. From there, R U OK? was born.

Gavin fought to see his last R U OK day in 2011 before he succumbed to cancer, with his son, Gus also passing due to an inoperable brain tumour shortly afterwards.

Barry, Gavin and Gus are the reason that R U OK? Day exists. Their legacy is a national conversation movement empowering Australians to support those struggling with life.

R U OK Day 2019

Today is Thursday, 12th of SeptemberR U OK? 2019. Today marks the 10th anniversary for Gavin’s suicide prevention organisation. Today is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone to ask “Are you OK?”, and to remember to offer every day to support people who may be struggling with life’s ups and downs.

In the Workplace

Did you know that according to the mental health charity Mind, at any one time, at least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression?

Workplace stress is costing:

  • the Australian economy $14.81 billion a year (source: Medibank)
  • Australian employers $10.11 billion a year based on stress-related presenteeism and absenteeism
  • 2 days per worker lost each year due to workplace stress

What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how can we spot the difference between a bad mood and something more serious?

Here are some signs that may prompt you to think that a co-worker, a friend or a family member may be one of those dealing with a mental health issue:

  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Feeling depressed or unhappy
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight or appetite changes
  • Quiet or withdrawn
  • Substance abuse
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Changes in behaviour or feelings

It is extremely important that employers provide methods, guidance and support for those workers experiencing mental health issues. However, it is not just employers, business owners and management who can implement this mental health support in the workplace. We can ALL help.

Anyone can be the agent of positive change in suicide awareness and prevention

R U OK?’s mission is the strengthening of support provided to those who are experiencing tough times to help them access appropriate, potentially life-saving support, before they’re in crisis and danger.

You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and a great listener. Here are some tips on how to ask R U OK?

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen without judgement
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check-in

Some conversations are too big or complicated for family and friends to tackle alone. If someone you know has been exceptionally low for more than two weeks – or is at risk – please seek professional help as soon as you can.

Mental health can affect anyone at any stage in their life. We want to help you take mental health issues in your workplace head-on, for both yours and your team’s benefit. Call us on 07 3630 5695 to find out more about how Bramwell Partners can help you with your HR Management today; our HR support services are comprehensive and include Workplace Health & Safety compliance management solutions.

Remember, R U OK? may be a question that someone you know is just waiting to hear.

If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.