Independent media agency Half Dome has evolved R U OK? Day to R U OK? every day for its staff as R U OK? Day on 9 September serves as a national reminder of the mental health crisis and silent pandemic COVID-19 has triggered.
One in five people will experience mental illness in their lifetime and Half Dome is calling on the industry to check in with one another as lockdowns in Australia’s eastern states roll on.
“The past 18 months have been stressful, so it is important we offer support to those around us and stay connected. We have evolved from R U OK? today to R U OK? every day,” Half Dome people and culture lead and recent B&T Women in Media Mentor of the Year Award Winner, Lisa Lie, said.
“It’s about how you have the follow up the conversation when someone says they are not ok. They are the skills we are equipping our staff with.”
More than 80 per cent of Half Dome’s staff are trained Mental Health First Aiders who are equipped with the skills to cope when someone says, ‘no, I’m not ok.’
In 2021, Half Dome’s priorities have been to provide as much certainty to its staff as possible and to build connections away from the digital, which has included face-to-face connection when and how restrictions allow.
Half Dome client solutions manager, Jade Rooney, said: “We had a steps challenge where everyone was put in a team based on their location so you could meet up with someone for a walk and a chat. It was such a great initiative that made me remember I was not alone. There’s a lot of power in that and plenty of opportunity to ask R U OK?”
Having moved beyond the R U OK? conversation, Half Dome has evolved its practices to adapt to an evolving world. Vulnerability from leaders continues to improve the culture Lie and her team are building.
“Our Managing Partners are as much a part of these conversations as our analysts and I’m proud we’ve created an environment where it’s ok to admit you’re not ok and we are arming our people with the skills to respond to that,” Lie said.
For further information about Mental Health First Aid Training please contact Half Dome’s learning and development consultant, Kate Frazer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured Image: Half Dome’s first aiders
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