Ben Coles

When you work in recruitment, active listening is an important skill and it's one that Ben Coles brings to his volunteer role as a Healthy Minds Champion for Ventia. 

"I talk to people every day about their job or their career aspirations or a role they're applying for," Ben says. "I've noticed lately conversations have naturally been turning toward mental health. So it's been great to have had the training to support more effective conversations."

Ben is a Talent Acquisition Specialist for our talent engagement business, Skout Solutions, based in Brisbane, Queensland. Along with the 120+ other Healthy Minds Champions, Ben undertakes regular training to prepare and support him in his role, which is designed to help Ventia build our capability to support a mentally healthy workplace. 

Ben says he's passionate about reducing stigma around mental health, especially in male dominated industries like the ones he works with. He says that being a Champion has given him extra purpose, and he's having more constructive conversations with people as a result. 

"The initial training actually came at a great time, given the changes we've seen in the world over the past 18 months," Ben says.

The training helped me feel more prepared, know how to unpack conversations better and to steer people in the right direction for help.

Ben with his brother

Pictured: Ben with his brother 

Taking care of yourself first

Ben says sometimes being heard is all people need to feel more in control of the problem they're facing. 

In order to help others, our Champions also learn how important it is to take care of themselves. Ben says over the years he's figured out what works for him.

"I need to take time to disconnect sometimes," says Ben. "If I am under stress, I remind myself to take deep breaths and think about what I can control, and what I need to let go."

"I definitely get outside more now as I find that helps. Even just leaving my desk to eat a proper lunch can be the break I need. It's amazing how much difference something simple like that can make to your state of mind." 

He also believes that routine is important for people, especially after the disruption of the past couple of years. 

"I go for a walk as soon as I get up and I eat a healthy breakfast to ensure I start the day right," he says.

Ben at Easternwell site

Pictured: Ben at an Easternwell site 


Ben loves the work he does with Skout, having been there for over four years now, he's experienced a lot of change but enjoys the variety of his role.

The people I get to meet and talk to every day are such a diverse bunch, it makes things really interesting.

"There's never a dull moment!"


RUOK? Day is recognised on 9 September 2021. Check in on the people in your world; a conversation can save a life.