A month (and more) of mental health
Mental health awareness and resilience is being kept front of mind across Sodexo with many community events, toolbox talks, information sessions and morning teas taking place from August to October.
One in five Australians are affected by mental illness, yet many don’t seek help because of stigma. Sodexo is committed to ensuring all employees and consumers know that they can speak up and be heard whenever they need support.
Although it’s a year-round focus, this is certainly the peak season for mental health mindfulness, with World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, R U OK? Day on 14 September, and World Mental Health Day coming up on October 10 during Mental Health Week.
The season kicked off in early August when the R U OK? Conversation Convoy visited the Pilbara mining town of Wickham—one of the first stops on its 14,000km tour to over 20 communities around Australia. Sodexo provided support and catered the event with a community BBQ.
Since the R U OK? convoy couldn’t reach everywhere we operate, Sodexo’s Wellness Advisors have organised similar events at towns and mines across the Pilbara, and will be hosting more guest speakers and firing up more BBQs over the next few weeks to coincide with the upcoming Mental Health Awareness week.
On R U OK? Day last week, Sodexo team mates around the country, in offices and on sites, got practical tips on how to start (and continue) a conversation if they sense a workmate is having trouble.
Step 1: Ask R U OK?
Step 2: Listen without judgement
Step 3: Encourage action
Step 4: Check in
When ‘R U OK?’ is the question, ‘I Hear You’ is the answer. Now in its fourth year, Sodexo’s I Hear You program gives all employees the confidence to discuss their mental health, knowing they’ll be heard, listened to, and supported.