Today is R U OK? Day, an annual reminder to check in on the well-being of those around us. It’s crucial message is to shine a light on the mental health of individuals in the workplace.
The BUSY Group is here to emphasise the significance of ‘R U OK? Day’ and encourage everyone to take care of their mental health. This is particularly relevant for the construction trades industry with an alarming statistic of over twice the number of deaths by suicide than any other industry.
The Realities of Trade Jobs
Trade jobs play a vital role in our society, from constructing buildings to maintaining critical infrastructure. Yet, these occupations often come with a unique set of stressors that can take a toll on one’s mental health.
- Physical Demands: Trade jobs involve strenuous physical work, which can lead to exhaustion and chronic pain over time. These physical demands can contribute to feelings of stress and fatigue.
- Job Insecurity: In some trade industries, job security can be uncertain due to market fluctuations and economic conditions. This uncertainty can lead to anxiety and worry about future employment.
- Isolation: Depending on the job, trade workers may spend long hours alone or with a small group of colleagues, limiting social interaction. This isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Pressure to Perform: Meeting tight project deadlines and ensuring the quality of work can put immense pressure on trade professionals, leading to stress and anxiety.
Why R U OK? Day Matters
R U OK? Day, observed on the second Thursday of September each year, is a simple yet powerful reminder of the importance of checking in on the mental well-being of friends, colleagues and loved ones. The BUSY Group encourages every workplace to participate in this meaningful initiative for the following reasons:
- Breaking the Stigma: R U OK? Day encourages open conversations about mental health, helping to break the stigma that often surrounds it. It’s a reminder that it’s okay to seek help and support when needed.
- Building Connections: Building strong relationships with colleagues is essential. R U OK? Day provides an opportunity to strengthen these connections by showing that you care about each other’s well-being.
- Early Intervention: Recognising signs of mental health struggles early can make a significant difference. By asking someone, “Are you okay?” and actively listening, you may provide the support they need to seek professional help if necessary.
Promoting Mental Health at Work
- Encourage Open Conversations: Start conversations about mental health in the workplace. Let your colleagues know that it’s okay to talk about their feelings and struggles.
- Check-In Regularly: Don’t wait for R U OK? Day to ask someone how they’re doing. Make checking in on each other a regular practice.
- Provide Resources: Share information about mental health resources available to trade professionals, such as counselling services and support groups. You may like to find out more about Mates in Construction. BUSY Health also provide psychological and counselling services that may be of assistance.
- Self-Care: Prioritise your own mental health by practicing self-care techniques like exercise, meditation and setting boundaries between work and personal life.
In the working world, where strength, resilience and determination are celebrated, it’s essential to remember that mental health matters too. R U OK? Day is an opportunity for the community to come together, support each other and break the silence surrounding mental health challenges.
Every day we need to look out for work mates, ask if they’re OK and help create a more supportive and mentally healthy workplace. Just by asking “R U OK?” you can potentially make a world of difference for someone.
Find out more about how your workplace can get behind R U OK? Day 2023