The final person we’re introducing this R U OK? Day is Trent. We spoke with Trent to find out more about what R U OK? Day means to him.
Trent has been with MinRes for almost four years and is currently a Health and Wellbeing Advisor at our Wodgina lithium operation. MinRes commenced operations at Wodgina, which is located 120 kilometres south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region, in April 2017. It is one of the biggest hard rock deposits in the world, with more than 400 people working on site at any time.
Part of Trent’s role on site involves organising the recreation and entertainment activities for our people so they can socialise, interact and relax after work. This includes quiz nights, table tennis competitions, karaoke, bingo and musical entertainment from touring bands and solo artists.
“People up here are working very hard, so after they finish work it’s really important they’re able to take part in relaxing and enjoyable social activities. It helps people get to know each other so they feel part of a community and build strong friendships,” said Trent.
Trent says that R U OK? Day has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the social calendar for one very important reason – the Mr Whippy ice cream van!
Photo: Trent (left) enjoying a soft serve ice cream on site at last year’s R U OK Day? celebrations in the Yilgarn region.
“The look on people’s faces when they hear the distinctive sound of the Mr Whippy van as it approaches is just priceless. The sound draws people out and they are stoked to be able to enjoy a soft serve ice cream – which is such a strong memory in many Australian childhoods,” said Trent.
“It’s a really light-hearted way to get people chatting about a really serious and important topic – mental health.”
While R U OK? Day is just one of the events on a very long list of social activities that takes place over the year at Wodgina, Trent says it’s so important that it’s celebrated in a big way.
“It’s a great way to initiate conversation on a topic that many people feel embarrassed to talk about. I think it takes courage to speak up and have open conversations about mental health so we can continue to break through the stigma,” said Trent.
“I feel really fortunate that I get to help people look after their physical and emotional health as a job – it’s really rewarding.”