The founder of R U OK? Day started with a vision that all people would be protected from suicide.
Gavin Larkin knows first-hand the pain of losing a loved one in this way, with his father Barry Larkin’s suicide in 1995 leaving him with endless questions.
In 2009, his son Gavin 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?"
To genuinely change behaviour Australia-wide, a national campaign was launched, and each year the ‘National Conversation Movement’ he started has continued to gather ground.
R U OK is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that any day is the day to ask, “Are you ok?” and support those struggling with life.
R U OK day 2018 is this Thursday 13 September, and there will be activities across Australia to acknowledge the importance of having better, more honest conversations.
The team at South Eastern Community Connect (SECC), cares passionately about bettering people’s mental health, and run a number of programs to support those who are struggling emotionally.
One such program is The CADRE Project, which has been developed in Australia as part of a Stronger Communities grant.
It offers training and education to community members to bring understanding about mental health issues.
SECC has already run one community training session, and has another coming up in October as part of Mental Health Month in NSW.
Project Coordinator Linda Castellazzi says the SECC will train up to 20 people in how to understand mental illness better.
“There are many stigmas in the community, such as that people with mental illness are dangerous, and that they will never improve,” she says.
“Many also believe they will personally never be affected by mental illness.
"Running these training sessions helps the community to take an active role in helping neighbours, children, and friends to understand mental illness and help those who are affected."
As part of Mental Health Month, South Eastern Community Connect (SECC) is also running a series of free workshops designed to boost mental health – from drumming classes through to art therapy and mindfulness training.
Visit www.secc.sydney for more information, or call 8338 8506 to book.
“There are many stigmas in the community, such as that people with mental illness are dangerous, and that they will never improve.”