Australia wants to know, R U OK?

Growing up in Australia, my emotional self felt a little unappreciated. I’d always pinned it down to an overarching macho culture of ‘she’ll be right’, leaving me believing that there was no place for my feelings.

But in the years since I left, there’s one thing I’ve learned that the nation does really well — the number of mental health awareness initiatives coming out of Australia, fighting to change the stigma and open up conversations to support those in need, is disproportionately high.

Today, for example, is what’s become the national suicide prevention day — a day to check in with each other and to ask

Are you ok?

It’s been going since 2009, and in recent years people have really started to emphasise that while the day puts the subject of suicide and mental health in the public eye, it’s a conversation that needs to be had more frequently. Which, presumably, is why the organisation is now out on the road year round, raising awareness in schools, workplaces and communities.

Name: R U OK? Day

Mission: To inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them, and ensure all Australians realise a little question can make a big difference to those people struggling with life.

Lesson: If you’re worried about someone you love, here are some simple steps that could change a life.


Know someone who’s working on this campaign? I’d love an introduction!

If you feel that you’re in a time of crisis, please seek out your local support network or lifeline as soon as possible. Help is available to you. This article is written for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be used to replace the advice of a mental health professional.