APEX InsightsLearn > Approaching R U OK?Day safely


September 2019

Approaching R U OK?Day safely

Mental health awareness days, weeks and months are great reminders to notice how those around you are doing, and to start caring conversations. But they can also be tricky for those having a tough time. Here are some tips from SuperFriend to help you have safe conversations.

R U OK?Day (the second Thursday of September each year) is an opportunity to notice how those around you are feeling, whether they be colleagues and clients, or friends, family and acquaintances.

Because financial advisers are often privy to sensitive and difficult information shared by your clients, knowing how to check-in on their wellbeing, if you are concerned, can be particularly important.

At a time when business models, professional standards and the general industry landscape is undergoing enormous change, you and many of your colleagues may also be feeling significant strain. R U OK?Day is a chance to let people know they needn’t go through challenges alone – that there are people who care, and ways to seek help.

We also need to keep in mind that mental health awareness days – particularly those that are well known and create an influx of attention on social media – can be difficult for people experiencing mental health issues. It's important, therefore, to approach the day with sensitivity and sincerity.

We encourage you to consider the tips below when planning for and speaking about what your workplace is doing to mark R U OK?Day.

  1. Remember to be genuine when asking if someone is OK – and to remind colleagues of this if you are planning for the day.
  2. Ensure there is follow up to the question if there is concern for someone’s mental health or wellbeing. Be sure to also to communicate about support following R U OK?Day like your workplace’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and other external services.
  3. Keep in mind the safe language to use when talking about mental health. Mindframe is considered the best practice guide to language around both mental health and suicide, and although their resources are targeted to the media, the language applies equally to workplaces and to speaking with your clients, friends and family.
  4. Communicate that good mental health is important every day of the year and commit to creating a mentally healthy workplace – a wide variety of resources and tips to get you started can be found on the Victorian Workplace Mental Wellbeing Collaboration website and in SuperFriend’s Building Thriving Workplaces: guidelines and actions.
  5. Remember, it is okay to not have all the answers. Look after your own wellbeing by reflecting on whether you are ready for any conversations about mental health.

Trust the signs

Read more about some of the signs that someone you know could be experiencing a mental health issue.

National 24/7 Crisis Support numbers

Suicide Call Back Service

1300 659 467


13 11 14

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636

MensLine Australia

1300 78 99 78

Youth Specific Services

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800


1800 650 890

Learn more about R U OK? Day

SuperFriend acknowledgment

This article was provided by SuperFriend. SuperFriend partners with profit-to member superannuation funds and insurers to achieve mentally healthy workplaces for their employees, members and customers. www.superfriend.com.au.



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