One of our traders passed away unexpectedly this week and his family asked that instead of flowers donations be made to Beyond Blue, the Australian organisation that addresses depression, anxiety disorders and related mental disorders.
We are not drawing any conclusions from the family’s request, there could be lots of reasons for it, but it does cause us to consider whether more needs to be done amongst QVM Traders to address mental health issues.
We are currently in a very stressful environment. We have a retail revolution that is causing great uncertainty worldwide. Closer to home we are going through a market renewal during which there will be many uncertainties including things like a shrinking market, lack of tenancy, and a range of changes to the way we conduct business, and our lives.
We don't need to over react to this possibility, and finding others to blame has little merit. But if traders are aware of the possibility of stress in our own work environment and with our market neighbours then maybe there are simple things we can do. RUOK is a good start.
Asking your neighbours if they are OK is a good way of opening doors and listening. If there are warning signs then the right action can be taken. Contacting BeyondBlue might also be a good start.
And maybe this is just the start of a bigger conversation.
By Greg Smith.