8 September 2021

A message of support and safety this R U OK?Day

'R U OK?Day' is coming up on 9 September. This is a day to remind us to regularly check in on friends, family and colleagues and start a genuine conversation about mental health.

The message for 2021 is: ‘Are they really OK? Ask them today.’

The R U OK? organisation provides practical tips for having meaningful conversations that start with 'R U OK?'. Let’s take time to listen without judgment. Encourage action. Check in.

We all have a responsibility to look out for each other and ask R U OK? every day. And if we can encourage having these meaningful conversations on a regular basis then we are helping those around us feel safe and supported.

There is no doubt our mental health and personal wellness are being impacted. This year has been tough on all of our people, which is why it’s even more important for us now to stay connected and check in.

As a firm, our purpose is to enable our clients, our people and our communities to thrive. Now, more than ever, let’s look out for each other.

Let’s increase people’s confidence and capacity to talk to each other and encourage conversations and ask if people are really feeling OK. Often we default to an automatic response, ‘all good', 'well, thanks', or ‘I'm OK’, and not truly sharing how we feel or wanting to be vulnerable. People who ask care so let’s take the opportunity to be authentic and real with our response.

Partner Kathryn Howard is a long-standing director of R U OK?. Kathryn reflects that often in the busyness of life we put on a brave face and sometimes don’t really see or hear those around us. The power of the campaign this R U OK?Day is to encourage us to pause and ask how those around us are really doing. ‘I know from personal experience that a genuine question which sees the individual makes a big difference in that person’s life. So let’s be encouraged to really see those around us, ask and listen without judgment, on R U OK?Day and every day.’

One of the values Hall & Wilcox shares with its clients is the priority we place on wellbeing. We spoke to employment law client, PageGroup, about why the message of R U OK?Day is important. Fay Calderone, Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair at Hall & Wilcox, and Rani Nandan, PageGroup’s Diversity & Inclusion Director for the Asia-Pacific region, agree that: ‘In a year that continues to be challenging, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing are a key focus.'

‘Every day, and particularly on R U OK?Day, it’s important to remember to connect with those around us – be it colleagues, family, friends, clients. It’s around checking in on how they’re are going, being sensitive to their needs and how they are feeling, and asking them if they need additional support. Checking in can make a difference.’

You might like to join the online R U OK?Day event to learn when and how to ask R U OK? so you can start a conversation that could change a life. You can find out more and register here.  


Kathryn Howard

Kathryn leads the Public Sector industry group at Hall & Wilcox, and is a commercial dispute resolution practice partner.

Fay Calderone

A highly regarded employment lawyer, Fay advises on proactive compliance, discrimination and performance management.