Today is R U OK?Day. Every year on the third Thursday of September, the organisation behind the initiative encourages people to check in and connect with one another to help prevent suicide. But what does it mean for our industry?
We love hospitality. It’s fun, vibrant, and is the lifeblood of our culture here in Australia. It’s no secret though that it can be a tough industry to be a part of. Long hours, high-pressure environments and seasonal trading ups and downs. Add in years of COVID lockdowns, shortages of staff and consumers feeling the pinch of increased living costs. Kaddy has not been immune to these challenges, and we understand that although (in our opinion), hospitality is the best industry to be a part of, it comes with its share of battles.
R U OK?Day is an important one to mark in the calendar for all hospitality employers and staff for these very reasons. We’re in an inherently social industry, but this day, on the third Thursday of September, is an opportunity to have more meaningful conversations. It provides a platform to check in with peers and friends to create deeper connections. Not to mention, that asking this simple question, and being there for the answer can change lives.
This year the Kaddy team got together to share a yarn and learn some skills for checking in with each other. Led by our CEO Steve Voorma, we learnt how to ask the right questions, and just as importantly, how to listen, hold space for each other, and follow up afterwards. Each of the team chose their top three strategies they’d take away and put into practice within a work setting and also in their personal lives.
As part of the morning tea, the team dug deep and raised $500 to donate to the R U OK? organisation, which will go to awareness campaigns to promote meaningful conversations, work, school and community programmes, and to conduct more research. We’re so proud of the team for coming together for such a great cause. You can also donate to the organisation or buy some merch to support the cause here.
In the spirit of hospitality, let’s continue to foster connections beyond this day and make a positive impact on mental health for our community.
If you or anyone you know is in a difficult place, you can call Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14. For help with checking in with someone, whether you’re worried about them or not, R U OK? has some fantastic resources on their website.