RUOK? Day

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R U OK?
Non profit organisation
Headquarters Sydney, Australia 2000
Key people
Gavin Larkin, Founder
Mike Connaghan, Chairman
Brendan Maher, CEO
Katherine Newton, Campaign Director
Website www.ruok.org.au

R U OK? Day is a national day of action in September (held on the second Thursday - in 2018 Thursday 13 September) dedicated to reminding people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, "R U OK?", in a meaningful way, because connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference to anyone who might be struggling.

R U OK? is a not-for-profit suicide prevention organisation founded by Australian ad man Gavin Larkin in 2009.

R U OK? works collaboratively with experts in suicide prevention and mental illness, as well as government departments, corporate leaders, teachers, universities, students and community groups. Its activities also align with the Australian Government's LIFE Framework.[1]

Background[edit]

In a 12-month period, it is estimated that 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt,[2] with an average of 2,320[3][4] people dying by suicide every year.[5] In fact, around 45 per cent of Australians will experience mental illness in their lifetime, while 20 per cent are affected every year.[6]

History[edit]

Gavin Larkin experienced the suicide of his father in 1995 resulting in the eventual co-creation with Janina Nearn of "R U OK?" in 2009.

The R U OK? tagline was brought about from extensive research proving that checking in with someone can really make a difference to their mental state. On the R U OK? website Gavin has said that, "Getting connected and staying connected is the best thing anyone can do for themselves and for those who may be at risk."[1]

Since its inception, many Australian celebrities, community leaders and athletes such as Hugh Jackman;[7] Naomi Watts;[8] Simon Baker; South Sydney Rabbitohs co-captain, Roy Asotasi; former Rugby league player Wendell Sailor,[9] gold medal Olympian Libby Trickett[10] and community leader Deepak Vinayak have enlisted as ambassadors and supporters to help raise awareness.[11]

In 2009 Yahoo!7's Sunrise reported that 650,000 conversations took place as a result of the campaign, which statistically is proven to help stop little problems turning into big ones.[12]

In 2012, the annual Don Ritchie Award was announced in conjunction with R U OK? Day to recognise the "extraordinary acts of service and commitment to suicide prevention," said NSW Minister for Mental Health, Kevin Humphries. After his death, Don Ritchie, the 'Angel of the Gap', was recognised for his "efforts in saving the lives of hundreds of people at risk of suicide" with the award that will continue to recognise the efforts of others in this field.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "R U OK?Day Co-Founder Gavin Larkin describes the impact". R U OK? YouTube Account. RUOK?. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Slade, T; Johnston, A.; Teesson, M.; Whiteford, H.; Burgess, P.; Pirkis, J.; Saw, S. (May 2009). "The Mental Health of Australians 2". Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra. 
  3. ^ "Facts and stats about suicide in Australia". MindFrame National Media Initiative. HNE Health. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Suicide in Australia". Australian Bureau of Statistics. ABS. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "2012 RUOK? Day". RUOK?. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Wright, Penny. "Penny's Blog – R U OK? Day: Are you okay in the Workplace?". greensmps.org.au/. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hugh Jackman supports RUOK? Day 2012". 
  8. ^ "Actress Naomi Watts on why you should call 1800 RUOKDAY". R U OK? Day YouTube. R U OK? Day. 
  9. ^ Sellen, Shakira. "Alex Elisala's death touched a lot of people". The Morning Bulletin. APN Australian Regional Media. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Knight, Dominic. "Swimmer Libby Trickett on R U OK? Day". abc.net.au. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "R U OK? Ambassadors". R U OK?. R U OK?. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "R U OK? Day". Yahoo!7 TV. Yahoo!7. Retrieved 24 July 2013. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Honouring Dons Commitment to Suicide Prevention on R U OK Day". NSW Government Health. Retrieved 24 July 2013.