Australian charity R U OK? has announced the launch of an online course designed to help those who may be struggling.

Funded with the help of Comcater and Mal Meiers’ Food for Thought program, R U OK? have teamed up with hospitality training provider Allara Learning to develop the course.

The interactive course is designed to help notice the signs someone may be struggling, how to find the right space and time to ask the question, and how to navigate a conversation if someone says, “No, I’m not ok.”

In line with the program’s launch, R U OK? has released new data from a recent survey with hospitality professionals.

The survey found 80 per cent of hospitality workers agreed mental health issues, including feeling depressed, anxious or manic, are a challenge currently faced by those in the industry.

The results also revealed fatigue was the number one challenge in the workplace and found younger workers indicated unsociable work hours, pay challenges and dealing with difficult customers as the main workplace stress points.

Around 50 per cent of workers said they wanted someone at work to ask them if they were ok. Interestingly, 40 per cent admitted they thought about asking if they were ok, but didn’t. When asked why, one-third said they didn’t feel it was their place to ask.

On a positive note, the majority of those surveyed said they do feel that they can access support from colleagues, not just family and friends, should they need it.

The online course is complemented by other free resources featuring the tagline ‘Chances are one of your work family needs to talk’. Resources include posters, stickers for roster boards, and a conversation guide.

Image credit: Dominique Cherry for Hunter Culinary Association

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