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Updated: Jun 2

RU OK Day is fast approaching. What does RU OK day mean to you? What difference can one person make? Can a conversation really make any difference?

Last year, the stress people felt was more so about concern whether they may get COVID-19 or worry over a family member becoming unwell with COVID-19. Mental Stress though is significantly on the rise and according to recent studies, a whopping

1 in 5 Australians are experiencing very heightened stress levels.

It's not just stress either, it's expected during a pandemic that we would see people also experience confusion and anger. The protests we are seeing play out at the moment attest to that.

"Good Mental Health is about being able to work and study to your full potential, cope with day-to-day life stresses, be involved in your community, and live your life in a free and satisfying way" - Headspace

Stress is now coming in from all different angles and by a range of influences. These include financial impacts, isolation from loved ones/family/friends, concerns for the future, vaccine readiness, remote working, home schooling, not being able to plan for a break or holiday, border restrictions to name just a few of these new stressors.

It's not just the pandemic either. We had the bushfires prior to the pandemic and there are people to this day who are still homeless as a result. The pandemic has just added another complicated layer to the impact.

Earlier this year, a National Mental Health Study was undertaken.


Whilst the study identified many people at risk, our teen girls are the most impacted for mental health concern. Even before the pandemic, this cohort was affected with young people engaging in suicidal thoughts, self-harm and eating disorders.

Distressed lady

Take a look around at your workplace. How many co-workers are parents? Parents of young people? Young teens? Are any of your team masking what is really happening in their lives?

Are you seeing any impact at work from that range of stressors? - absenteeism, presenteeism, isolation (working from home) and a drop in performance?

Are you looking closely enough?

What about those workers who are working remotely? Whilst you may ask 'How are they doing?' Can you see how they are doing? Have you really had the conversations?

There are many psych claims being presented related now to the hidden impacts of working from home.


  • Remoteness may mean isolation (loss of social connection),

  • it may mean a combination of other pressures as well, such as home schooling whilst juggling work.

  • it may mean that there are technical issues, making for longer days,

  • perhaps the home office is not set up ergonomically to sustain the activities of the day.

  • increased occurrences of Domestic Violence - this is also on the rise.

Person looking depressed

Traditional mental health services are being swamped with increasing numbers of people requiring services. In the last Sydney and Brisbane lockdown during August, Lifeline reported receiving more daily calls than it had in its organisations history!

That is telling us something!

The pandemic has the potential to contribute to or exacerbate long-term mental illness including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance misuse. There is genuine distress and enormous distress affecting our young people. Mental health conversations are becoming the new normal, however we need to look way beyond that.

Depression jigsaw

Look at both encouraging and promoting protective or resilience factors, in addition to burnout prevention and recovery.


The right support to empower managers and teams will help you create a Mentally Healthy Workplace.

That is where we step in...........let us support you.

F.A.S.T. First Aid is not your average

First Aid Training company!

We are now offering Programs that support mental health & well-being in the workplace through:

  • in-person and

  • online courses.

One of our Course Designers and Facilitators is Meghan Kurts Forrester, Founder and CEO of Evohe Skincare. We recently interviewed Meghan and asked her what led to the creation of these programs and the importance of offering support in the workplace.

Meghan from Evohe Skincare

Why is Self care important to you?

“Finally I feel like the flag I’ve been waving for Self Care is getting some serious attention, I know from personal experience how crucial self care can be. Self Care & Self Responsibility are some of the first steps to prevention and recovery. When I say Self Care I am not talking about bubble baths and massages (although they are nice!!!) Self Care is learning how to regulate your nervous system. Quick and simple daily practices will reduce stress and improve well-being.”

Meghan our facilitator
Meet Meghan - our Course Designer and Facilitator

Share with us why you think the workplace culture of working long hours equals commitment, is problematic.

“It’s surprises me that people see working long hours as a sign of being a committed and powerful employee, I think it’s the opposite!!! I think wow, they are not being productive, or their organizational skills are lacking.

Today working long hours is expected, ‘pushing through’ when you are sick and answering work emails whilst on holiday is the norm. We all know this extra work is not sustainable long-term. We’ve all felt the stress after a seemingly endless work week.

This type of culture is pressuring staff to breaking point which is in actual fact costing the business far more in lack of productivity, workers compensation claims, workplace injuries are on the rise and staff are just unhappy. How well do you think a staff member is going to represent your brand when they are burned out and miserable? Overworking leads to burnout.”

Self Compassion Tips

Students are loving your Selfcare tool box, tell us more about that.

“I recently obtained my Mental Health First Aid accreditation which I have to say was eye opening and inspiring."

It confirmed that my tool box of Self Care (more than just bubble baths) is a necessary part of my daily practice and how I can do my bit to help.

When I’m in a stressed out state, I often don’t remember all the things I ‘know’ I ‘should’ do to regulate myself and get back on track. Having my tool kit gives me portable resources to help find my balance again.

As serious as mental health is, I'm always up for keeping it light...”

Why the 30 and 90 minute Programs?

“Every business is unique and taking a ‘one size fits all’ is not the style of training we want to offer. Businesses can mix and match the programs to get the perfect mix of content and time for the staff training needs.”

Why are these courses in such high demand?

“Our courses are hands-on and experiential and aim to support people’s mental health and well-being. We share practical strategies that offer relief to those at risk of high stress and overwhelm as well as anyone interested in improving and maintaining their general well-being. Our programs address a broad spectrum of life stressors and are designed for participants to feel a sense of balance, stability, support and hope.”

Why should businesses get on board and provide these programs in the workplace?

“Well for starters it’s required by legislation to offer healthy and safe work environments, but also because people spend such a big part of their days at work. Where and how else are they supposed to take care of their mental health requirements if not in the workplace for at least part of it…?”

From a business perspective how are you seeing the benefits of supporting Mental Health & Wellbeing in the workplace?

“We are seeing a great reduction in staff stress levels and an improvement in staff relations. Businesses are also seeing a drop in the number of sick days being taken by staff.

The boost in workplace morale and productivity has been very welcomed. The 4 week post course support that we offer helps to create healthy patterns and implementation of the tools that we teach in each program. “

What is your favourite student feedback?

“This one made me smile, they said thank you for not standing there and lecturing us. Experiencing the process was so much better for me than just being told what to do. “

Testimonial from Simone

Testimonial from Jayden

Give us a quick snapshot of the current Mental Health & Well-being Programs people will find at F.A.S.T. First Aid Training.

SOS Self Care Strategies – 30 minutes

Daily practices for coping with stress and answering the SOS call out from your overwhelmed system.

This course addresses common causes of stress in our daily lives, relationships, workplace and physical bodies. This is paired with specific tools for expanding capacity and resilience in a sustainable and relatable way.

Self-Care Strategies

SOS Communication Strategies – 30 minutes

Diffuse conflict and develop emotional intelligence

In this fast-paced and increasingly uncertain world, we need effective and easy processes for problem solving, growing emotional intelligence and building resilience. This translates into more cohesive, happier and peaceful workplace cultures.

SOS Essential Communication

SOS Mental Health First Aid Awareness – 30 minutes

Key strategies for addressing mental health challenges in the workplace

Educating participants about the most important factors relating to mental health. Course participants are introduced to a 5-step action plan for how to help a person who is in a mental health crisis or developing mental health problems.

SOS Mental Health First Aid Awareness

Recovery and Resilience – 90 minutes

Or R & R as we like to call it.

This course is based on skill development for ongoing management and prevention of burnout.

It also allows people to dive in a bit more and have some self enquiry time.

Clear and Connected – 90 minutes

5 simple skills for easy communication and empathy

Workplace tensions and stress are at an all time high. A healthy organisational culture depends on the strength of the relationships and shared values of its members. Clear communication which facilitates connection and understanding is vital to the health and resilience of any organisation as well as the individual.

You know, you don't need to do this alone.

There is help, there is support.

The nation has said "We are all in this together". At F.A.S.T. First Aid Training we would love to work with you - TOGETHER - to promote and encourage those resilience factors with your team, to learn about burnout prevention and recovery. To get the conversations started and ask - RU really okay?

Together we can help to make a difference.

FAST First Aid Training Banner


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