Three Words that can Save a Life: R U OK?
With everyone ecstatic to be away from their desks and socialising, if only for the morning, you would be forgiven for mistaking the scene for birthday celebrations or grand announcement. In reality, this morning was more about awareness more than anything else, awareness for a cause that by now hopefully needs no introductions. With posters plastered on business bathroom doors, high school and university walls everywhere R U OK?Day sheds light on the very serious subject of depression and suicide. Built on the premise that such a simple question can make a huge difference to someone’s day, week, and year, even life, the concept was inspired by the unexpected suicide of the much-loved entrepreneur, Barry Larkin. Founded by his brother Gaven Larkin, the concept has now been adopted by businesses and institutions Australia-wide, ourselves included.
This morning, the WME office was alive! Personalised R U OK? mini cupcakes provided by Queen Street’s Little Cupcakes store were plentiful and as delicious as always. The costumes on point and the energy electric it was up to Marketing Manager Nicole Seamen, to round up the troops.
The morning started with a brief reflection on the very serious origins of the initiative before switching tempo as Managing Director Nick Bell, awarded a much-deserved best dressed prize to Zach, the friendly giraffe from the account management team (costume complete with a ‘free hugs’ sign). Following the best-dressed awards, Content Manager Cassie and Jarryd from IT were a draw for runner-up. The next order of business was a morale boosting exercise.
The exercise, aptly named ‘speed mating’, encouraged staff to mingle and exchange cupcakes with people who they may not see on a day-to-day basis. The office alive with chit-chat as everyone present took to the exercise like ducks to water. Looking on as a sea of yellow and orange WME staff members, from all departments, conversed, laughed, joked and took photos together – you would be hard-pressed to find a member of management who wasn’t beaming with pride.
Today the WME office looked a little like this:
And the atmosphere felt a lot like this:
So next time you suspect that someone isn’t feeling okay, or even just as a kind gesture, ask the person sitting across from you in office, the person beside you in the elevator or next to you at the water cooler, R U OK? Because those three simple words can save a life.