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Rail R U OK?Day: Follow That Train Of Thought

Rail employees across Australia and New Zealand are being encouraged to follow that train of thought and ask “Are you OK?” on 30 April 2020.

This is the sixth annual Rail R U OK?Day with the numbers participating growing significantly from around 6,500 in 2015 to more than 70,000 this year. Partnering on this initiative are suicide and harm prevention charities R U OK? and the TrackSAFE Foundation.

Each year this annual industry-wide event inspires rail employees to look out for one another during life's ups and downs by asking "Are you OK?" and really listening to the answer.

Katherine Newton, CEO, R U OK? says that trusting your gut instinct and starting a genuine conversation with a workmate who doesn’t seem themselves can be life-changing.

“Our partnership with TrackSAFE is one R U OK? is extremely proud of and is a brilliant example of an entire industry being committed to the R U OK? movement,” said Ms Newton.

“We’re all going through a difficult time because of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, it is so important we look after each other.

“Participation in Rail R U OK?Day has grown more than 800% since the inaugural event in 2015, as we see, rail employees from across Australia and New Zealand are transforming their workplaces into strong and resilient environments every day of the year.”

Bob Herbert AM, Chairman TrackSAFE Foundation says the Rail R U OK?Day initiative is the largest initiative recognised by the rail industry and is helping to foster genuinely supportive workplaces across the industry.

“We are overwhelmed by the response from our industry and delighted to see more than 70,000 participants involved in this year’s Rail R U OK?Day. There has never been a more important time to ask that question-are you ok” said Mr Herbert.

“Due to the nature of roles in our industry, some workers could potentially be exposed to traumatic incidents and these incidents can have lasting effects. Not only this, we’re all exposed to life’s ups and downs so we want to empower rail employees to deal with confronting challenges which might be thrown their way.” explained Mr Herbert.

Rail R U OK? Day equips rail employees with the tools to reach out and connect with each other in a meaningful way. Supporting the awareness day is a set of free resources tailored to encourage conversations within the rail industry. R U OK?s four steps to starting a conversation: Ask, Listen, Encourage action and Check in, are a key part of this strategy.

“We keep hearing numerous anecdotal accounts whereby a rail employee has trusted their instinct and noticed the signs that someone near them has been struggling, and we’re thrilled to learn that they have started a conversation that has put that person on a whole new path.” said Mr Herbert.

In the lead up to Rail R U OK?Day, TrackSAFE Foundation sent ‘Quentin and Quinn’ R U OK?’s interactive digital question marks on a tour travelling every state and territory and across New Zealand. Quentin and Quinn share educational and informative challenges to encourage conversations between workmates.

“None of this mammoth effort would be possible without the support of TrackSAFE’s 30 regular subscribers. They see their commitment as supporting a ‘whole of industry’ need and would like to see Rail R U OK? Day reach over 100,000 people in 2021.” concluded Mr Herbert.

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