Today, Thursday 10th September, is R U OK? Day in Australia: a day of action designed to bring attention to mental health. Held annually on the second Thursday of September since 2009, it’s one of the most successful mental health initiatives in Australian history, and has become a part of the national vernacular; the zeitgeist.
There’s never been a more important time to talk about mental health, either. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has dominated our lives for almost two years, has been immensely detrimental to our mental health. The quite rational and debilitating fear of illness and death combined with the dearth of social contact thanks to lockdowns and social distancing has been a hell of a one-two punch. Stats from the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare are rather sobering.
While in principle, R U OK? Day is a brilliant idea, a number of Australian intellectuals and public figures have criticised the observance, pointing out how hollow it can feel for some, if the companies promoting it only pay lip service to its message.
About 5 years ago we had to attend a mandatory, all-day wellness session. I was badly burned out and stressed about the work I would now have to take home and stay up til midnight finishing due to the session. The topic? Avoiding burn out and stress, and the importance of sleep.
— BLACK LIVES MATTER (@MyKidsMakeStuff)
Part of an email I received this morning from a company that didn’t even hire me bc I kept…
The best content delivered directly to your inbox.