R U OK? A conversation could change a life
On Tuesday 6 September, Senior Campus will be running a whole school event across all the Homesteads to recognise R U OK? Day. Each homestead will run fun activities that help to educate and raise awareness around mental health. R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives. Their work focuses on building the motivation, confidence, and skills of the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling. R U OK? contributes to suicide prevention efforts by encouraging people to check in with their mates and spend more time building relationships and a network of support.
R U OK? Day is an important step forward to deepen the discussion around mental health. To further show the school communities support for those with mental health struggles, there will be a lolly jar guessing competition for each homestead from Monday 5 to Friday 9 September. After placing their guess and making a gold coin donation, students will write a message of support on a big message board in their homestead. All money raised will go to the R U OK? charity.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 50% of Australians have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life. More than 1 in 4 Australians have thought about suicide in the last year, three-quarters of young people’s mental health worsened during the lockdown, and so far, this year, there have been over 1500 deaths by suicide. That’s about eight people a day. For these reasons, it is essential as a community to recognise the hardships everyone, friends, family, and loved ones, faced during and after the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. I believe acknowledging mental health as a school can contribute to removing the stigma that surrounds mental health and allow people to reach out and get the help they need. The first step to a happier, more accepting society is starting the conversation.
I look forward to seeing everybody actively getting involved and showing their support.