Gavin Larkin's love & honour for his much loved father Barry started the R U OK? campaign back in 2009 after Barry tragically ended his own life.. Gavin had a passionate belief that just a conversation could change a life .. and while he collaborated on a documentary to raise awareness he realised it needed more than this, it needed a nation wide campaign .. R U OK? Day was born..
In June & July this year the hospitality industry lost 2 of its shining stars to heart attack and suicide .. The effect it's had on the Chef world is wide spread with the recent not for profit Hunter Culinary Association showing its solidarity earlier this month at their Spring seasonal luncheon by the volunteer Chefs wearing the R U OK? shirts and donating their raffle proceeds towards this great cause..
The Restaurant industry can be unforgiving, whether you are just starting on as a dishy or are running your own business.. The pressure of walk in bookings on top of your booked ahead customers, rising food costs, unpredictable staff, fickle customers, stressed out management, keyboard warriors, dietary trends, split shifts, weekend work, award wages, hot pans & sharp knives can compound the pressure already in place from ATO liabilities (majority of stock purchased is GST free yet every meal you sell includes GST), insurances, superannuation accruals, suppliers needing to be paid .. And this is just inside the work arena, add to this any stress you are experiencing outside of work ..
It's emotional, physical and financial log rolling at its finest and hospitality isn't for the faint hearted and the mentality of 'just push on Chef' can take its toll ..
R U OK? day is today, but is not limited to just today .. Australia's suicide rate is at its highest with 65,000 people trying to take their lives every year and everyday we need to ask it, you never know what is going on in someone's life, regardless of the sparkly facade they present ..
And it's ok to say that you're not ok.. We're all in this together ..
Lifeline 13 1114
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Help Line 1800 551 800
GriefLine 1300 845 745
Justine met Steve in a kitchen on the outskirts of the outback in 2012, fell in love 5 days later & married on St Valentine's Day in the Hunter Valley in 2013.