I know that this is supposed to be a blurb about some food , and specifically food safety thing but with RUOK? Day rapidly approaching and in this time of increased stress in our new COVID world, it’s time to ask the question, and for you to ask it of others as well, – are you okay?
For many food businesses, the world has dramatically changed in two years from hopefully profitable and growing to trying to figuring out day to day how to keep the lights on and staff working. This is not only financially difficult but mentally as well, so it is really important that those of us in the food industry regularly keep checking that our fellow foodies are OK.
The RUOK? website recommends that when asking RUOK? you follow four steps;
- Ask the question – do this in a quiet place and maybe having a cuppa or during a break so there are no distractions. Mean it when you ask it.
- Listen to whatever they say and don’t judge – some may open up and others won’t but don’t pressure them. Be interested. Keep whatever they say to yourself
- Suggest they could talk to others who may be able to help them if they need it – like Beyond Blue or Lifeline or the Red Cross, relevant government departments as examples.
- Follow up some time later to see how they are going
In this time when there is little stability and we can’t be certain whether we will be having that party next week or going to that wedding or attending the funeral of a loved one or going on that holiday because we just do not know day to day if further COVID restrictions will be imposed to stop us from living our usual life, mental health is being impacted.
It is the time to be gentle with each other and to regular ask others around us RUOK?, whether we are in the food industry or even in our circle of friends and family. Have the conversation, it can’t hurt.
For more information about RUOK? Day go to https://www.ruok.org.au/