VIS is 'Here to Hear' this RU OK? Day, and everyday

Today is RU OK? Day, a national day of action and a reminder that everyday is a day to start a meaningful conversation with friends, family and colleagues about mental health and emotional wellbeing. It serves as a powerful reminder for people to connect with others and ask a simple yet vital question: ‘Are you okay?’

The aim of the RU OK? Day is to highlight that a conversation can change a life, you don’t have to be a mental health professional to be there for somebody – it’s all about being a supportive friend and a good listener.

RU OK? Day highlights the importance of fostering a culture of care, empathy, and open communication. It encourages people to be more attentive to their loved ones’ struggles, be they visible or hidden.

“While bringing up the topic of mental health can be difficult, asking ‘Are you ok?’ is a simple and powerful way to show care and support for someone going through a tough time,” said VIS Performance Lifestyle (PL) Adviser, Sarah Thompson.

The 2023 theme for RU OK? Day is ‘I’m here to hear’, which serves as an opportunity for all of us to be active listeners and offer genuine support to those around us. The VIS, as an organisation, is here to hear for staff and athletes, every day, not just on R U OK? Day.

“The VIS has an ongoing commitment to mental health and the wellbeing of all staff and athletes. By embracing the theme ‘I’m here to hear,’ we are encouraging open conversations about mental health, fostering a safe and understanding environment where individuals feel empowered to share their struggles,” added Thompson.

The Performance Lifestyle (PL) team are once again taking the initiative to organise RU OK? Day activities including a morning tea, providing a platform for athletes and staff to come together and share the RU OK? message.

The team have also established a new “Lap and Chat” concept for 2023 which will see staff pair-up and walk a lap of the VIS precinct to chat about their emotional health with their colleagues.

“Grab yourself a St Ali barista made coffee, a cupcake and a fellow VIS staff member and do a quick lap and check in around the VIS,” advised Thompson. 

The PL team will also be running a Lunch and Learn session on the day. ‘Here to hear at the VIS' covering wellbeing, mental health and how to support yourself and others with VIS Performance Psychology Manager Daniel Dymond and alumni netball athlete and coach, Caitlin Thwaites.

While RU OK? Day is a designated date to promote mental health conversations, its significance extends far beyond a single day. It serves as a crucial reminder to check up on people’s emotional wellbeing regularly.

“Mental health issues are not confined to specific dates or events, they affect individuals every single day. The VIS is here to hear every day through ongoing education and training as well as an established Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy,” said Thompson.

By making R U OK? Day a year-round commitment, the movement strives to create a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable sharing their burdens and seeking help when needed. 

For more information visit: A conversation could change a life | R U OK?

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