Publication date: Thursday, 14 September 2017
Mental health will be at the forefront of Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) today with staff at a Western Sydney correctional centre hosting an 'R U OK? Day' event centred on a shared interest in motorbikes and hotted-up cars.
A national day of action dedicated to starting conversations 'R U OK? Day' is designed to support anyone struggling with their mental health by encouraging their colleagues to ask, "Are you OK?"
Classification and Case Management Review coordinator Belinda Gurney, from Emu Plains Correctional Centre, said the theme for 'R U OK? Day' came upon realising they had a lot of staff who ride motorbikes.
"To get people engaged we knew we had to do something to pique their interest and having a large number of male and female staff who ride motorbikes we decided to run a 'Shine and Show' event," Ms Gurney said.
"We chose to hold it in association with 'R U OK? Day' as we wanted to remind everyone that this is just a job and we are human, we all have families, lives and interests outside the prison.
"We hoped it would create a more approachable environment for staff to talk about their feelings."
CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said even without a love of motorbikes all CSNSW staff are encouraged to host their own 'RU OK?' event.
"This important annual event is a simple way to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace and I hope all Corrective Services staff get behind it," Mr Severin said.
"They might be surprised they can make a difference to a colleague's mental health by asking them one simple question."
For more information go to ruok.org.au
Find out more about R U OK? Day, including resources to help you start a conversation, on the RUOK website.
Above: staff at Emu Plains Correctional Centre revving up the conversation on R U OK? Day.