One of our Waverley Bus Operator’s, Jahan Sid, shared how he had a conversation with a distressed passenger and with the support of the TJHB team the man’s life was saved. Jahan also expressed his gratitude to the TJHB team for making sure he was OK after the traumatic experience.
R U OK? Day was founded in 2009 by Gavin Larkin after his father, Barry Larkin, committed suicide. Gavin’s mission is to protect other families from the pain he endured – by encouraging people to ask their families, friends and work colleagues, “Are you OK?”
The movement aims to reduce the stigma around conversations about mental health in workplaces in an effort to support each other and help those who are struggling with their mental health.
We gathered yesterday at Randwick Depot to continue Gavin’s work to participate in R U OK? Day to support each other.
Transdev’s, Chief Operations Officer, Peter Lensink shared some striking statistics that eight people take their lives every day in Australia and that for every death by suicide, it’s estimated 30 people will attempt to take their life.
Peter recommended R U OK?’s free resources which guide how you can:
- recognise the signs someone is struggling
- how to start a genuine conversation
- lend appropriate support and
- how to follow up.
The charity’s work focuses on building the motivation, confidence and skills of the help-giver – the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling with life.
He also shared how when he was a younger manager he noticed that someone was acting differently and will never forget meeting with the young woman’s family after she had taken her own life. He implored the importance of speaking up to see if someone you know is OK if they don’t seem themselves.
Critical Incident Clinician, Guler Akkoc, a counsellor from our EAP Provider Benestar, shared some advice for how to support someone who is struggling.
She stressed the importance of not being judgemental when listening and not to be frightened to speak to someone even if you don’t know what to say.
Saying that ‘you’re not alone’, ‘I can help you find the help you need’ and you can even say ‘I don’t know what to say’, as long as you are showing you are there to support them. She also advised that going for a walk or a drive with someone can be beneficial as it can be easier for people to open up when they are moving.
The counsellor advised that offering support to someone who is not feeling mentally well can be like offering chicken soup to someone who is physically ill. By offering them some comfort to offer to have a coffee and a chat with them, and suggest that they speak to a counsellor like we suggest a GP when someone is physically ill.
Transdev John Holland, Managing Director, thanked the speakers and emphasised the learnings from today’s presentation which are – to not be afraid to ask if someone is OK?, to be authentic and to not overthink it.
Rachel shared that the drivers are the champions of the transport network.
“As Jahan has demonstrated, drivers have the ability to save someone’s life through human connection, which is so important as it binds us as a community,” said Rachel.
“It’s so important to take the time to listen, it can take five minutes which can make a difference to someone’s day to ask them how things are going and follow up.”
Let’s make “are you OK?” a part of our everyday.