Tips for starting a conversation

Two women having a conversation at their desk at work
  • 8th September is R U OK?Day
  • Staff may feel nervous or unequipped to start an emotionally-supportive conversation with one another
  • Use our resources to help them help others.

Each year, the R U OK?Day message can have a significant impact on the mental health of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

It’s not just about cheering up someone who looks a bit glum, it’s about actively starting supportive conversations between colleagues in the name of inclusion, better mental health, and, yes, the complex and sensitive challenge of suicide prevention.

It’s all well and good acknowledging that it’s hard to tell how people are feeling all the time and that we can start by asking, “are you okay?” But knowing how to do this is another kettle of fish entirely.

Your staff might feel nervous. Now might not be a good time. Or they simply might not have the natural, gregarious social skills they feel they need to ‘put themselves out there’. Then there’s what to do should someone say, “No”.

We’ve put together a few tips to help your people start their own conversations. Please share them with your team and encourage everyone to get involved. We can assure you that promoting authentic and tactful communication in your workplace could make a big positive difference to people’s lives.

This September 8th is national R U OK?Day. Please make sure your people are well equipped to make it another great success.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit

This information has been reviewed for Bupa by health professionals and to the best of their knowledge is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice. Bupa HI Pty Ltd (and its related entities) makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the recommendations or assessments and is not liable for any loss or damage you suffer arising out of the use of or reliance on the information, except that which cannot be excluded by law. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your health.