Over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Australia more than 2500 people die each year
Mental health is not a stigma, it is real. Like any other disease, depression can destroy a person and ultimately a family.
R U OK, is an Australian government initiative, created to inspire everyone to create a sense of connectedness. To help people know they are not alone with their feelings and their sense of sadness. This illness does not control their lives and there is always another way.
In 1995, Mr Barry Larkin an Australian family-man; devastatingly gave his life to suicide. His family were left with questions and deep grief. Gavin Larkin, Barry’s son decided to honor his father’s death by choosing to protect other families from the terrible pain he endured.
R U Ok, was born. And Gavin’s goal was to not simply raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention; he ultimately sought to change the behaviors associated with the mental health stigma Australian-wide. And so, his national campaign grew exponentially.Gavin remained passionate about his campaign, until his life was lost to cancer in 2011.
His mission continues, as Australia seeks contentedness and September 8th has become a national ‘R U Ok Day’ to remind one another, to do so.
Bus shelters, television ads, radio and celebrities; all choose to promote their R U Ok message today. But to real message, for all people; everyday is to create a safe place to talk. A safe place to know, it’s okay; not to be okay. A place to be able to voice one’s self, without judgment.
This R U Ok, Day. I challenge you to really ask yourself, how you are going. Get something off your chest and share your thoughts with someone close to you. Do not suffer in silence. You are never alone. And simply be prepared to be there for somebody. It may just save their life.
If you would like to know more about R U Ok please visit: https://www.ruok.org.au/about-us
If you, or someone you know if suffering please contact: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/