More important than ever to ask your colleagues: R U OK?


Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on mental health, with many of us struggling with the substantial challenges of lockdowns, remote learning, being separated from loved ones and ongoing uncertainty in our sector. 

So, it’s more important than ever to use R U OK? Day this Thursday 9 September as an opportunity check in with our colleagues and support each other through the challenges we’re facing. One meaningful conversation or offer of support can change someone’s life.

The theme of R U OK? Day this year is ‘Are they really OK? Ask them today’ and there are some great resources on the R U OK? Day website to help you do just that:

  • How to ask R U OK? at work – a practical guide to help you if you’re concerned about a team member or colleague.
  • A video guide to using the ‘ALEC’ steps (Ask, Listen, Encourage, Check in) when having conversations around mental health.
  • Stronger together – a free resource kit for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends and colleagues.
  • R U OK? Day podcast (available on Spotify or Apple Podcasts) – Rachel Clements (National Director, Centre for Corporate Health) and Katherine Newtown (CEO of R U OK?) talk about the challenges of the pandemic, how to stay connected and how to engage in authentic “R U OK?” conversations.

R U OK, Macquarie?

ruokday-webinar_edmAll staff are invited to attend the University’s R U OK? Day webinar on Thursday 9 September, where Mindspot Director Professor Nick Titov will discuss research into the everyday activities that can improve our emotional health. Register here >>

Recognising the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on staff and their families, the University last week announced a number of new measures to support staff wellbeing, including dedicated Wellbeing Days on 20 September and 22 October, dedicated daily meeting-free times and carer’s leave provisions for staff with caring responsibilities that can be accessed on top of the flexible work arrangements that are being encouraged in all teams.

Resources to support staff wellbeing (including the Employee Assistance Program) continue to be updated on the University’s staff wellbeing page and COVID-19 information page.





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  1. I’ve been watching these announcements continue to emphasise new tools, apps or gadgets that can help ‘make a person more resilient’ to the impact of the pandemic. However, there are many questions about the reality of internal change. Many fear that the economy of scale applied by the VC’s administration is deeply harming our organisation, its services, its staff and it’s students. A couple of days off and a chat from the Mindspot consultants don’t address the corporate heartlessness growing at the core of this ‘business’.

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