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'R U OK?' Week at Russell McVeagh

'R U OK?' Week at Russell McVeagh

A firm-wide 'R U OK?' Week is currently underway at Russell McVeagh targeted at addressing mental and physical health in the workplace and encouraging staff to 'check in' with each other.

The firm has announced a new 'Physical Wellness Policy', launched as part of the week's initiatives to support and encourage staff to participate in physical wellness activities of their choice, with an annual allowance available for staff to spend on their chosen physical wellness endeavour.

Throughout 'R U OK?' Week, various activities and initiatives have been organised to further promote health and wellness including health seminars, floor morning teas, a sponsored yoga class, breathing seminars, and sponsored massages.

HR Director Lesley Elvidge says, "Everyone goes through times when things are tough, it's not just work stress, but personal issues that affect us all at different times in our life. 'R U OK?' Week aims to highlight to our people that there is help if they need it, whether this is talking to someone in their team, HR, the nurse or using the confidential, free counselling service.

"Mental health is like physical health – you have to take active steps to look after it. We want our staff to think about their colleagues and if they think someone needs help, to encourage them to get it or to speak to someone about it who can help. Facilitating discussions and checking in with each other play an important part of this, in addition to the firm offering the relevant services available to our staff such as counselling, unlimited sick leave and 'Catch Up Days'," she says.

The firm will also be highlighting and referencing the positive work the New Zealand Law Society has done recently together with Vitality Works in developing Practising Well – a set of tools and support materials lawyers can use to improve their health and wellbeing.

First launched by the firm in 2014, the dedicated 'R U OK?' Week is held on an annual basis. In addition, firm health and wellbeing initiatives which have proved successful throughout the last year, include:

• Mental health awareness sessions with Mike King, the well-known New Zealand comedian who shares his battles with addiction and depression, and encourages openness and 'speaking up';

• An annual Resilience programme and;

• A pilot Mindfulness programme which aims to develop the mind so our staff are more focused, present and productive.


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