R U OK?s Conversation Convoy rolled into Pilbara mining districts Wickham and Dampier on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 to encourage Rio Tinto’s workforce and the local community to check in with workmates and loved ones or anyone who might be struggling with life.
CEO Brendan Maher said it was vital to get the R U OK? messaging out in to mining communities given the pressures and isolation staff often face.
Maher reminded Rio Tinto team members that they had an extra resource at their disposal –their eyes, ears and mouth – in recognising and assisting anyone who didn’t seem their usual self.
He said everyone has the ability and skills to check in with anyone they were worried about and broke down the four steps to starting what could be a life-changing and life-saving conversation.
“We are thrilled to be out in the heart of the W.A. mining district talking to workers and community members who often face unique struggles around isolation and being separated from family and friends.
“It’s important that we give people the skills to notice the signs that someone might be doing it tough and to know what to say if someone says “no, I’m not ok”. That’s why we developed the four steps to starting a conversation: Ask, Listen, Encourage action and Check in”
Rio Tinto General Manager Dampier Ports, Jessica Farrell encouraged the use of R U OK?’s four steps and highlighted the internal resources available to team members such as Rio Tinto’s Peer Support Program, Wellbeing leader Training and Employee Assistance Program.
“We all have things going on in our lives at times that can be challenging to our wellbeing. Even if we are going ok, chances are we know someone who is going through a tough time. Having the courage to ask that question could really change someone’s life and help put them on a positive pathway towards effectively managing the issue.”
General Manager, Health and Safety Suzy Retallack said, “Rio Tinto is proud to support the R U OK? Conversation convoy in both Wickham and Dampier. The events are a great opportunity for our employees and the local community to reflect on the importance of looking after each other’s wellbeing every day.”
“Even if we are going okay, chances are we know someone going through a tough time. When this happens, having an offer of genuine support can make the difference and that is why encouraging the R U OK conversation is so important”
The R U OK? Conversation Convoy started its journey at Yulara in Uluru and will progressively make its way around Australia to host a series of regional, remote and metro events within schools, parks, workplaces and significant locations within communities.
The Convoy’s next event will be in Perth, Monday August 14