16 May, 2023

Be a mate, it’s worth it

We’re proud to be partnering with R U OK? to develop the ‘Be a mate, it’s worth it’ campaign. This campaign is specifically designed to provide free resources encouraging young trainees and apprentices to foster supportive friendships by regularly checking in with their mates and paying attention to life events and any signs that might indicate a mate is struggling.

When we’re going through tough times, it’s our mates who are best placed to understand and lend support.

That’s why R U OK? is calling on young trainees and apprentices to ‘Be a mate, it’s worth it’.

Did you know that almost half of young people who begin an apprenticeship don’t finish it1?

One of the main reasons is that apprentices are exposed to situations that negatively impact their mental health and wellbeing. Situations like challenging work conditions, poor pay, or bullying2.

R U OK? Community Ambassador Megan Cox, 21, was accepted into an apprenticeship program while she was studying business and IT at TAFE NSW. She initially found the change difficult to adjust to and she experienced anxiety and panic attacks.

‘What really helped was being able to be open with those around me about the struggles I was facing,’ said Ms Cox, whose input helped shape the ‘Be a mate, it’s worth it’ campaign.

‘Knowing I wasn’t alone and knowing people genuinely cared helped me get the support I needed.’

‘I’ve since learnt to recognise signs when those close to me might be struggling, and how to talk to them about it.’

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said research showed that being an apprentice or trainee can be challenging for young people learning how to transition from classroom to workplace.

‘This, along with the usual ups and downs of life can have a cumulative effect and can impact their mental health and sense of social connection,’ she said.

‘We encourage young people to make the time to build strong friendships they can rely on as they move through life to ensure they feel connected and supported. This is about being there for your mates, and them being there for you.’

Spirit Super CEO Jason Murray believes that when we face challenging times, there are few people who understand us like our friends do.

‘Our friends have that unique ability to provide support and a listening ear when we need it most.’

‘Through our support of the Be a mate, it’s worth it campaign, we hope to empower young apprentices to have meaningful conversations with their friends, as well as to provide them with the tools and resources needed to maintain supportive friendships to help each other through life’s challenges.’

All ‘Be a mate, it’s worth it’ resources are free to access at ruok.org.au.

For free and confidential support at any time of day or night, young people up to 25 years of age can access Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or chat online, 24/7 at: kidshelpline.com.au.

13YARN is a free 24/7 service offering crisis support for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. Call 13YARN (13 92 76).

For support at any time of day or night, Lifeline provides free and confidential crisis support. Call 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online at: lifeline.org.au.

1 Boyle, C. (2021) Wellbeing at work: Apprenticeships and Mental Health[1] Melbourne. Orygen

2 Einboden R, Choi I, Ryan R, Petrie K, Johnston D, Harvey SB, et al. (2020) ‘Having a thick skin is essential’: mental health challenges for young apprentices in Australia. Journal of Youth Studies.

We're giving you this information in good faith. It comes from sources we think are reliable and helpful. However, we can't guarantee its accuracy and accept no liability for content provided by external websites.