With today, 10 September, marking R U OK? Day 2020, Choice Aggregation Services is hosting a digital event this afternoon to help promote good mental health and wellbeing within the broking industry.
The keynote speaker will be mental health advocate Jeff Kennett, former Victorian premier and founding chairman of Beyond Blue, a mental health and wellbeing support organisation.
Choice initially partnered with national suicide prevention organisation R U OK? in 2019 as part of its commitment to looking after its brokers.
“We are extremely proud to support R U OK? as we continue to help sustain their work through an extension into 2021. With everything happening in the world right now, it’s crucial for us all to look out for one another and build resilience throughout our industry,” said Choice CEO Stephen Moore.
This year’s event is centred around the theme of 'there’s more to say after R U OK?', with much of the content addressing how brokers can further a conversation with someone who is struggling after the initial check in.
“This year, the focus is all about supporting and encouraging meaningful conversations. So, if someone says they are not ok, whether that is a friend, family member, colleague or customer, the event is designed to increase broker skills and confidence in knowing what to say next,” Moore explained.
R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton emphasised that the challenging events of 2020 have made it even more crucial for people to stay connected and support one another.
“When someone in your life is struggling, it’s natural to ask them if they’re OK but it can sometimes be difficult to know what to say next,” said Newton.
“You don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going and, if you familiarise yourself with what to say after hearing ‘No, I’m not OK’, you can show genuine intent and genuinely help someone access appropriate support long before they’re in crisis.
“It is hoped [today’s] event will arm brokers with the resources to encourage meaningful conversations amongst their peers across Australia.”
Moore has encouraged those within the industry to speak to someone if they are struggling, reminding that one in two Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
“Please don’t feel like it’s a weakness and don’t feel like you’re alone. Reaching out for help through a simple conversation can really have a transformative impact,” he said.