R U OK? 2016

R U Ok? Logo

What is R U Ok? Day?

R U OK? Day, 8 September 2016, is a national day of action dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask “are u OK?” to support those struggling with life.

On average, more than 2,300 Australians suicide each year (2012) and an estimated 65,000 people attempt suicide each year. Suicide is the biggest killer of Australians aged 15 to 34 years.

To decrease these numbers, mental health strategies such as R U OK? Day are essential. R U OK? Day encourages meaningful conversation and a conversation like this could change a life.

Here are some useful tips about how to start a conversation

  • take the lead and ask: “are you OK?” Put the invitation out there, let the person know you’ve got time to talk. Often just spending time with a person lets them know you care.
  • use ice breakers. Use open-ended questions which require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
  • practise your listening skills. Listen to what a person is saying, be open-minded, non-judgemental and patient. Let the person take their time.
  • be encouraging. Make suggestions that encourage physical health, self-care and professional help if required.
  • be helpful. It is unhelpful to tell people to just “snap out of it”, say they simply need to keep busy, suggest alcohol or drugs, or assume the problem will just go away.

Join in R U Ok? Day 8 September 2016

You may like to get together with some colleagues to host an event such as a morning tea, for your department or building. Safety Health & Wellbeing can provide some promotional cards to help you to raise awareness for your event. Please contact Adrian Cuenca from Injury Management Services, for some cards for your use.

Disability Awareness Week 2015: RU OK? Day forum

RU OK? Day coincided with the University’s Disability Awareness Week in 2015 and an interactive panel discussion was held where panellists shared strategies for coping when you feel stressed or blue, and to challenge the stigma associated with mental health. Facilitated by journalist and broadcaster Julie McCrossin, the panel included Fay Jackson (Deputy Mental Health Commissioner, NSW Mental Health Commission), Matthew Mitcham (Australian Olympic champion, motivational speaker and LGBTIQ advocate), Gen Fricker (Triple J host and comedian), and Sarah Chuah (University of Sydney student, SRC Disability and Carers Officer).

See the R U OK? Day at the University of Sydney 2015 video here

What else can you do to get involved?

As well as simply asking the question " are u OK?", there are many ways to get involved with the R U OK? Day on 8 September 2016, and help to raise awareness.

Some event and awareness ideas include:

  • allocate time to call a friend and ask the question "are you OK?"
  • register for healthy minds training. Safety Health & Wellbeing provide a range of courses throughout the year
  • download the R U OK? poster and hang it up in your workspace
  • invite a mental health professional to speak to your workgroup
  • gather people together to watch the R U OK? presentation