Australian and New Zealand rail companies have come together to recognise the third annual Rail R U OK? Day, with celebrations taking place across both countries.
The event is a joint effort between rail harm prevention body TrackSAFE and mental health charity R U OK?, aimed at tackling issues of mental health within the rail workforce.
R U OK? ambassador and former rugby league star Brett Finch was on hand at a launch event at Sydney’s Central Station on April 19.
“I know about the trauma and tragedy that can happen on Australian rail networks,” Finch said.
“My father-in-law works on the railway, and I know first-hand the life changing experiences he’s been through and the impact it has had not only on him, but also his family.
“If you notice a workmate is a bit off or doesn’t seem themselves, don’t joke or make light of it, because it really could be something important you could help them open up about.”
Former NRL star Brett Finch is now an R U OK? ambassador.
Secretary of Transport for NSW Tim Reardon addressing the Sydney launch event.
TrackSAFE Foundation chairman Bob Herbert said the event helped the rail industry proactively address the issues of mental health within the sector, and suicides on rail networks around the region.
“We strive to create healthy and resilient workplaces by empowering coworkers to support one another and continually check in, asking one simple question: ‘Are you okay?’,” he said.
“It is an important opportunity to convince workmates that they can make a real difference to someone who is struggling by having genuine conversations.”