The communities of Hopevale and Mossman Gorge will celebrate R U OK? this month.
R U OK? is a national suicide prevention charity inspiring people to check in, listen, encourage action, and check in again.
Hopevale will celebrate national R U OK? Day on 14 September with a community event in the park featuring a suicide prevention talk and community barbeque.
Apunipima’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre team, with support from My Pathway, are coordinating the event.
Social and Emotional Wellbeing Counsellor Dorothy Deshong, who will deliver the talk, said the main message of R U OK? Day was importance of checking in with people and encouraging them to take action.
‘People who are feeling socially or emotionally unwell can often be helped simply by having someone care enough to listen to their problems and direct them on the right path to receiving help,’ she said.
‘The message is also that the best way to know if someone is feeling bad is to take time out, and ask them directly, R U OK?.’
‘We want to encourage people to check in with others as it increases the chances of a person accessing help. This is especially important when someone is experiencing depression and grief. It is also hoped that people will use this day as the perfect opportunity to reach out for help if they need it.’
Mossman Gorge will focus on the R U OK? message throughout September.
Apunipima Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team Leader Donna Henning said she and the team wanted to spread the R U OK? message to community in a variety of ways.
‘We have an R U OK? banner between the Mossman Gorge Wellbeing Centre and Primary Health Care Centre and it will stay up for the month of September,’ she said.
‘Our Youth Worker Ben and Adult Worker Bacho will play touch footy with community with an R U OK? football and be there to have conversations social and emotional wellbeing.’
‘We also have R U OK? information cards to give out to community and even R U OK? serviettes to use in our regular women’s and men’s activities.’
Donna said she hoped R U OK? message would spark conversations about the importance of checking in with friends, family and colleagues.
‘It’s so important to check in, and keep checking in,’ she said.
‘Sometimes people find it hard to share their real feelings but even if it takes a while, keep asking. The person knows you are there and that’s a good thing in itself. Asking, taking the time to listen, encouraging action and checking in are the keys to helping people move through challenging times.’
National R U OK? Day
National R U OK? Day takes place on 14 September 2017.
The R U OK? Convo Convoy visited Cairns on R U OK Day.