It’s a basic question that is being asked in businesses and families across Australia in September.

RU Ok Day is an annual reminder of the importance of checking in on friends, family and workmates with a direct and sincere inquiry as to how they’re travelling.

“You don’t have to be an expert or a counsellor to ask the question – it’s just about being human, reaching out, and letting someone who may be struggling know that people care and they’re not on their own,” Health and Wellness Manager Yvonne Searle said.

“It really is as simple as asking and listening – and if the answer comes back “no – no, I’m not”, then you encourage action and check back in. The RU OK Day site has some brilliant resources on how to approach this. It’s not about ‘fixing’ another person’s problem, but letting them know that they’re supported if they’re having a tough time, and feeling equipped to encourage them get the right expert advice, if that’s needed.”

Mental health training and employee support

Mental health and wellbeing is a major priority for Ergon Energy and its parent company Energy Queensland with morning teas for staff held at several offices recently.

A major industry-first suicide prevention initiative for all employees is also being finalised with a plan to roll it our late this year and into 2018.

The company is rolling out an unprecedented range of training and support to its employees.

More than 1500 leaders and influencers from every corner of the business are currently undergoing Mental Health Awareness Training, designed to help them to recognise and support team members who may be experiencing mental health concerns.

Making a difference

The catalyst has been a genuine desire from senior leadership team to make a difference for our employees and move our business towards being a mentally healthy workplace as part of our health and safety program.

“The change we are looking for is increased awareness and a reduction in the stigma attached to mental health. We want to see mental health discussed more openly, with genuine care and treated in a similar way as physical injuries."

“We want to see our people seek help and receive the right help and support to live full and rewarding lives.”

So ask your workmates, friends and especially family - RU OK? It could make a difference.