RAIL industry employees across Australia and New Zealand are creating a conversation movement by asking, “Are you ok?” of each other on April 12, the fourth annual Rail R U OK?Day.
Partnering on this initiative are suicide and harm prevention charities R U OK? and the TrackSAFE Foundation.
“Through the initiative Rail R U OK?Day we are helping rail industry workers feel safe and genuinely supported at work. Due to the nature of the roles in the rail industry, there are some workers who could potentially be exposed to traumatic incidents as part of their jobs,” said Bob Herbert AM Chairman TrackSAFE Foundation.
“The Rail R U OK?Day initiative is aimed at helping rail employees deal with these confronting challenges they may face at work, (along with life’s challenges) and connecting in a meaningful way to co-workers. There’s a real difference between small talk and genuinely asking the question of a workmate, “are you really ok?”
TrackSAFE and R U OK? have made a commitment to equip rail workers with the skills to recognise when someone might be struggling, and strategies to employ support for their workmates. R U OK?s four steps to starting a conversation: Ask, Listen, Encourage action and Check in, are a key part of this strategy.
This year TrackSAFE has complimented the existing R U OK? strategies to upskill rail employees by introducing Mental Health First Aid training.
“By introducing Mental Health First Aid training specifically for the rail industry we’re working to encourage more and more rail employees to recognise the signs that someone might be doing it tough and to check in on those they are concerned about,” said Mr Herbert.
In the eight-week lead up to Rail R U OK?Day, TrackSAFE and R U OK? sent an interactive digital question mark named ‘Quentin’ on a relay-styled trip travelling every state and territory via rail. Quentin issues educational and informative challenges and will complete his cross-country trek at Metro Trains Melbourne on Rail R U OK?Day.
In addition to this, R U OK? branded locomotives, courtesy of Pacific National and Aurizon will act as visual reminders to Australians to join the conversation movement by checking in with friends and loved ones, as they pass through cities and regional towns in Western Australia and Queensland.
R U OK? Ambassadors and former NRL players Daniel Conn and Brett Finch will be spreading the word that listening to your gut and having a genuine conversation with a workmate who doesn’t seem themselves, can be life-changing.
R U OK CEO Brendan Maher said, “R U OK? is committed to continuing the collaboration with TrackSAFE to support rail workers who are often faced with work related stressors and need additional support.
"In our fourth year now, we believe we are embedding strategies to assist rail workers when they are faced with challenges, and this initiative is one we are extremely proud of,” said Mr Maher.