Hi in Australia it’s RUOk day. You may wonder what this is all about.
R U OK?Day is a national day of action dedicated to inspiring all Australians to ask family, friends and colleagues, ‘Are you ok?’ By regularly reaching out to one another and having open and honest conversations, we can all help build a more connected community and reduce our country’s high suicide rate.
R U OK?Day is on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012).
More than 2,200 Australians suicide each year and men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females (ABS 2012). For each person that takes their life, another 30 people attempt to end their own life (SANE Australia).
Most people don’t openly share their feelings, particularly if they’re struggling. The best thing we can all do is regularly talk to the people we care about – regardless of whether they are at risk – because connection is good for us all.
In the time it takes to have your coffee, you can start a conversation that could change a life.
Who will you ask?
R U OK?Day – The story so far
The inaugural R U OK?Day was launch at Parliament House, Canberra in 2009 and after only 3 years an estimated 58% of the Australian population know about the national day of action. Moreover, almost 1 in 5 Australians got involved (AMR 2011), thanks to the thousands who signed up in 2011.
In 2012, we aim to get even more Australians involved and connected. You can access R U OK? resources for your workplace, school, health facility, university, community and sports club to help you and your friends connect with someone on R U OK?Day – and every day of the year.
R U OK? – The organisation
R U OK? is an independent, not-for-profit organisation committed to providing national focus and leadership on suicide prevention by empowering Australians to have open and honest conversations and stay connected with people in their lives.
Our national day of action aims to increase public awareness and understanding about the link between connection, community, wellbeing and suicide prevention. Our programs are designed to provide ongoing education and information about ways to support each other through life’s ups and downs.
We work collaboratively with our Information Partners and experts in suicide prevention and mental illness – as well as government departments, corporate leaders, teachers, universities, students and community groups – to ensure that our message is safe, relevant and empowering.
Our work aligns with the Australian Government’s LIFE Framework and we actively seek to reach at risk groups, including older males, regional and rural communities, Indigenous Australians and youth.
R U OK? – The inspiration
R U OK?Day was inspired by the death of Barry Larkin (1940 – 1995).
Barry was a fascinating and successful business management consultant who took his own life. His son Gavin Larkin (1968-2011) partnered with television producer Janina Nearn in 2008 to develop a campaign that would inspire Australians to stay connected and support people doing it tough.
Thanks to support from the Australian Government and its commitment to suicide prevention, R U OK?Day was launched in 2009 at Parliament House, Canberra by former Australian Health Minister, the Hon. Nicola Roxon.
R U OK? is dedicated to Barry and all people who have died through suicide, and to the family and friends who love them.
If you live in Australia and need to talk to someone about something you are struggling with please contact one of these amazing organizations.
One day I may be brave enough to blog about my struggle with depression, it’s a journey I’m still on.
Until next time
PS I’m just about finished with veggie garden so I promise to update you all soon.