Staying connected this R U OK? Day


10 September 2020

Staying connected this R U OK? Day

With the world as we know it far from normal, and our everyday life having changed dramatically during COVID-19, it’s important to keep your health and wellbeing a focus.

This year’s R U OK? Day is on Thursday 10 September and the message is: ‘There’s more to say after “R U OK?”’. What do you do if you ask someone: ‘Are you OK?’ and they say: ‘No’?

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.

With the restrictions in place to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, many of us may have experienced a significant change in the usual fabric of our lives that provide the support and connection we crave as human beings. We may be less physically connected. We may be less active. There is no doubt our mental health and personal wellness are being impacted.

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 about life’s ups and downs. Learn more here about what you need to know to support friends, family and colleagues.

The four simple steps include:

  1. Ask ‘R U OK?’
  2. Listen without judgment.
  3. Encourage them to take action.
  4. Check in.

Our Managing Partner Tony Macvean says, ‘In these challenging times, it’s essential that we take active steps to stay connected. We can start by simply making a list of people we know who may appreciate us making contact. For those of us in lock down, this could be by way of a phone call, video coffee or a socially-distanced walk. Whichever channels we use, we just need to make it part of our routine to connect with each other.'

Partner Kathryn Howard is a long-standing director of R U OK? and is passionate about creating a society in which everyone has someone to support them. Kathryn says this year’s R U OK? Day ‘let’s reach out to each other for genuine conversation, wherever we may be located, and really listen to and support each other through this upheaval. We are human beings who need each other, now more than ever.’

In a recent article, R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said the virus has affected everyone in some way and we all need to actively seek ways to connect, and in some cases reconnect, with those in our world who might be struggling.

‘Many might be feeling disconnected from day to day life, have new financial and employment pressures, added family stressors, be physically unwell, or experiencing heightened levels of anxiety.

‘…there is always something we can do and that is look out for each other. We want to bring everyone through and social connection is critical in ensuring we do. We want those who are well and able to make it part of their daily routine. In the morning think about who in your world might be struggling and make a plan to reach out to them and ask ‘Are you okay?’.

‘That simple question and a conversation has the power to change someone’s life for the better.’


Tony Macvean

As Managing Partner of Hall & Wilcox for over 15 years, Tony has led the firm through substantial growth.

Kathryn Howard

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