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Written by Trish Franceschilli and Eleanor De Guglielmo on behalf of the LEI Wellness Group.

On Thursday the 12th of September the nation celebrated R U OK day. Contributors wore yellow t-shirts, lanyards, bandanas and bracelets to raise awareness of suicide prevention and asked family, friends and co-workers if they were OK?

The Learning Enhancement and Innovation Team got together to raise awareness by having a morning tea. The Cog was decorated in black and yellow, even the treats shared at morning tea took the theme of yellow (safe to say we all ate a lot of cheese!).

Why R U OK?

Gavin Larkin decided to promote R U OK when his father, Barry Larkin left his family in deep grief and with endless questions after his death in 1995. Gavin decided in 2009 that R U OK was the question to honor his father and to try and protect other families from enduring the pain Gavin’s family experienced.

Gavin collaborated with Janina Nearn on a documentary to help raise awareness, but then realised the documentary was not enough. This is how the R U OK campaign was born.

Since starting this campaign, sadly cancer ended Gavin’s life in 2011. His legacy is a national Conversation Movement that is equipping Australian with the skills and confidence to support those struggling with life.

To hear more about Gavin’s story, watch the Australian Story, Ep: Beyond Ok.

Refer to the videos below to encourage conversation and notice the signs.

Notice the Signs

How to ask R U OK at work?

Four steps to R U OK

Follow the four steps below to check in with someone. Grab a cuppa, ensure the space is safe, appropriate and start a conversation.

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

R U OK is OK everyday

Yes, awareness occurs on R U OK day, however remember to continuously spread awareness on this topic and check in with people who may have a change in behaviour… any day of the year. Remember: a conversation can save a life.

If staff and students and the university can access the below for more information:

Employee Assistant Program (EAP)

  • Interpersonal conflict (workplace/home)
  • Grief / Trauma counselling
  • Dealing with difficult personalities
  • Fatigue and perceived inability to cope with work demands
  • Dealing with change
  • Building resilience and managing stress
  • Anger management
  • Alcohol, tobacco and substance dependence
  • Relationship and family problems
  • Emotional and mental health issues e.g. anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder

For current students at the University of Adelaide for support, contact:

Student Life Counselling Support

University Crisis Line

Please note, text services are available on: 0488 884 197.


References
https://www.ruok.org.au/our-story
https://www.abc.net.au/austory/beyond-ok:-the-story-of-the-man-behind-r-u-ok-day/8866798

 

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