The words that came out of my mates mouth saved my life.
He walked up to me and put his arm around me and said ” Are you ok?”.
When growing up my father didn’t show emotion and I didn’t know how to cope with my emotions. My partner had just left me and I was going down a deep and dark path. I was suicidal and thought all was over in my life.
These words from a friend allowed me to open up, something I hadn’t done ever. Remember I was taught that men don’t talk about their feelings and they don’t speak to others.
Its important to speak about your emotions and talk to mates. Go out and grab a pint of beer and sit and chill.
So what is #RUOK day?
In 1995, much-loved Barry Larkin was far from ok. His suicide left family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions.
In 2009, his son Gavin Larkin chose to champion just one question to honour his father and to try and protect other families from the pain his endured.
Are you ok?
While collaborating with Janina Nearn on a documentary to raise awareness, the team quickly realized the documentary alone wouldn’t be enough.
To genuinely change behaviour Australia-wide, a national campaign was needed. And from this realisation, and with Gavin and Janina’s expertise and passion, R U OK? was born.
Gavin remained a passionate champion of the fact a conversation could change a life, even as cancer ended his in 2011.
His and Janina’s legacy is ensuring all Australians realise a little question can make a big difference to those people struggling with life.
And how can you help such a wonderful organisation?
You can join other supporters passionate about raising awareness and funds for us by getting a bunch of mates to run at any of our challenge events across Australia (such as City2Surf, City2Sea Melbourne, Canberra Australian Running Festival and more) or by attending the Merivale Chef’s Dinner (enjoy seven mouth-watering courses from Australia’s top chefs, including Jeremy Strode and Colin Fassnidge.)
Another great way to fundraise is to organise an event in your work, school or community group. Whether it’s a classic morning tea or something a little out of the box, it will help us start conversations. So here are a few event ideas to start you thinking:
– Organise an R U OK? Morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea
– Organise a casual clothes day with a yellow or orange theme
– Hold a trivia competition
– Organise team building activities (e.g. a sport or dance competition)
– Allocate time for people to call a friend or family member during work hours
– Replicate ‘R U OK?’ or a question mark in a creative way and take a photo to share with us
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to do, follow these steps and we’ll aim to get back to you within one working day with our approval and any other essential information you may need:
1. Decide what you want to do
2. Decide if you want to raise funds as part of your event
3. Read our Guide for Fundraising
4. Fill out the fundraising form online or download the fundraising form.
5. Share how you’re getting the message out there. Share your event
6. Once you’ve had the event, any funds raised can be sent to R U OK? at 1 Kent Street Millers Point NSW 2000. You can also deposit it straight into our HSBC account: Bank BSB Code: 342 011; Account Number: 471 083 001
Please be sure to get our ok before trying to fundraise. We retain total discretion in granting or denying permission and being able to withdraw approval if the Fundraiser is unable to follow the terms and conditions outlined in the Guide for Fundraising.
We’re a registered charity, so donations over $2 are tax deductible. Both donations and fundraising contributions will help us inspire more Australians to have regular, meaningful conversations every day of the year. This includes:
1. Help expand the team so we’re there to help more workplaces, schools and communities
2. Develop more tools and kits to inspire meaningful conversations
3. Do more research and evaluation, so we can learn and grow
You never know, you might just change someone’s life forever.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.