Have you checked your gauge lately?
Rural Alive & Well’s Cutting Through program has been established to meet an identified gap and need across the industry to make mental health and wellbeing practical and relatable to the Industry workers, and its impact on the ground is growing.
The ability to meet workers where they are at, in a genuine and non-intrusive style is just one of the unique ways RAW is using the Cutting Through program to build mentally healthy and resilient forestry workers.
Industry leaders across the sector are engaging more and more with RAW staff whenever they are present, choosing to ask questions about staff, friends and family members mental health. It’s great to see managers and leaders across the industry starting to self-identify habits and/or behaviours of others (or themselves) which may indicate their mental health and wellbeing isn’t tracking too well.
RAW encourages us to each learn to Recognise the signs, Ask the question and Work together, and in doing so we are taking steps to break down the barriers for people reaching out for help.
One of the tools we use as a part of this process is The RAW Gauge©.
Across Timber and Forestry, no matter where you are, you are likely working with some form of machinery, vehicle or motor. What happens if your motor or machine is running in the red for too long? It’s going to stop working. Each of our lives aren’t too dissimilar to this example. Especially when it comes to navigating situational stressors and life’s challenges.
Whenever Dave, Terry and Mark are onsite at a workplace or in the logging coupe, The RAW Gauge always becomes a point of reference for understanding how someone’s mental health and wellbeing might be tracking, and what might be needed to help bring someone back into the green.
On a recent visit to some logging coupes of larger contractors, The RAW Gauge© became a topic of conversation with an employee saying, “I’ve been in the red for a few months”. This was the first step to this individual reaching out for support and they are now working alongside the RAW team to help overcome the stressors negatively affecting their mental health and wellbeing.
Another story of impact comes during an onsite, RAW ‘FAST 5’ conversation. An employee said, “it’s great that a down to earth bloke, who understands and is from the industry, can get out and have these chats with workers like us.”
That same day Dave met another worker who spoke about his personal struggles with poor mental health and how he knew he was ‘in the red’ when anger become his main emotion when engaging with his family and workplace. He explained to Dave that since seeking help, he’s now going well with the help of his doctor and the support from his boss along with family and friends.
Normalising the conversations around mental health is one part. The second part is knowing and understanding what the signs and symptoms look and feel like. This is where the most impact occurs and it’s also when workplaces, communities and individuals’ lives start to change for the better.
If you haven’t had Dave, Terry or Mark out to your workplace yet, we encourage you to reach out. Contact RAW 24/7 on 1800 729 827
Recognise the signs
Ask the question
Work together to take action