The R U OK? foundation is calling on tradespeople to support their workmates and loved ones on Thursday, September 14, by letting them know: “I’m here to hear”.
R U OK? has a dedicated resource called “Tradies Tools to Talk” that provides practical tools and tips for family, friends, and workmates. It can help people spot the signs that someone on a worksite may be struggling, and demonstrates how to initiate a conversation and to help them find support.
Andre Sakr is a construction project manager in Sydney and R U OK? Community Ambassador. He says tradies face a range of challenges across their working lives – from job uncertainty to financial pressures, intense physical demands, and workplace culture issues.
“Pressures can build up and impact mental and emotional wellbeing for tradies if they don’t feel they can talk to others about their struggles,” he explains.
He believes that with the stigma surrounding mental health, it is important to approach friends and family with a genuine desire to help.
Research done by R U OK? has shown more than four in five people who engaged in a meaningful conversation felt better about managing their situation; having talked it through and felt supported, heard and safe during the conversation.
The most important factors people identified in the research to encourage an open conversation included:
Trust – The person needs to feel close to the person they speak to
Authenticity – The person asking genuinely wants to know the answer
Environment – Have the conversation in a private space.
R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton explains you need to ask the question because you mean it.
“We know the positive impact an R U OK? conversation has when people know and trust each other,” she says.
“This trust, along with consideration of the where and when a conversation will take place, contributes to making an R U OK? conversation truly meaningful.”
Although any day is a good time to approach someone if you think they might be struggling, RU OK?Day serves as a reminder that starting a conversation could change a life.
For more information and to access the resources, please click here.