R U OK? 2012 Award Finalist Feature

May 14, 2013

AHRI R U OK dAY workplace finalist logoWe all go through tough times at certain times in our lives and that’s one of the reason why I am a big supporter of R U Ok? Day.  This day has grown since 2009 and is no longer just about one day, but ongoing conversations with those in your personal or work lives to make sure they are ok, by asking that simple question.

R U Ok? has partnered with AHRI to acknowledge the best organisation that embraced this message in 2012.  I am delighted to share that Mercy Health, one of our clients was recognised as a finalist.

Here’s what they had to say when I interviewed them recently.


R U Ok? has been growing over the last few years, is this the first year that Mercy Health has taken part?

At Mercy Health our vision is to provide compassionate care to those in need and we have been supporting and participating in RUOK? Day since 2010. Our key focus is responding to the current and emerging needs of the communities we serve and improving the health outcomes for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Responding to the dramatic increase in the number of Australians experiencing mental health illness is of critical importance to Mercy Health.

How did staff get involved in R U Ok? Day at Mercy Health in 2012?

RUOK? Day events were held across all Mercy Health facilities with employees, residents, patients and clients taking part in exercise, social and artistic activities, mental health information sessions, and the now iconic yellow themed morning and afternoon teas.

What would you say was critical in holding a successful R U Ok? Day?

CEO endorsement is crucial to the success of our RUOK? Day campaign and our CEO Stephen Cornelissen communicated his commitment to the day via his fortnightly CEO News which is distributed to all 6,000 Mercy Health employees via email.

Overall coordination of events was led collaboratively by our Support Services teams with events driven and tailored locally by employees. 

R U OK? Day is focused on one particular day, what other mental health support is provided to your employees throughout the year to keep the conversation going?

At Mercy Health we recognise that in order for RUOK? Day to have real impact, it cannot be a stand alone event.

In 2012 we established a dedicated RUOK? online resource hub to raise awareness and provide employees and managers with access to mental health information and resources all year round.

We are also planning to roll out Mindful Employer training to assist our people managers in recognising the early signs and symptoms of a mental health problem and give them the tools and confidence to intervene early and initiate a conversation.


What does it mean to Mercy Health becoming recognised nationally as a finalist for R U Ok? Day?

Being recognised as a finalist is an opportunity for Mercy Health to further promote the importance of breaking down the stigma associated with mental health illness.  As a health care provider it is imperative that we care for the wellbeing of our employees, so that they can provide care for our patients, residents and clients.  We see RUOK? Day as the perfect opportunity to put our commitment into action.

Congratulations to Mercy Health on this acknowledgement.  For more information of other initiatives and benefits offered to employees at Mercy Health visit their employer profile today at – Mercy Health.

If you’re interested in participating in this year’s R U Ok? Day, visit http://www.ruokday.com/.

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