R U OK? Day asks a vital question

LOOKING out for one another and starting conversations that could save lives were the main topics of discussion at the Glenorchy Youth Task Force’s third annual R U OK? Day event, held in mid-September.

The event reinforced the message that everyone can start a discussion with someone they care about, to check in and see how they are going.

RUOK? Day is a national reminder that we’ve all got what it takes to ask, “are you ok?” and to support those who may be struggling.

This year’s event focused on giving young people the confidence to support their peers and explaining what they can do when their friends aren’t feeling the best.

More than 250 people attended on the day, which saw more than 100 show bags handed out that contained important information about depression, anxiety and suicide.

Glenorchy Youth Task Force member Tyler Bakes said the group looked forward to hosting the event every year.

“We are the voice for young people in Glenorchy and our peers tell us time after time that mental health is a priority for them,” he said.

“Studies show that young people are more inclined to reach out to friends when they are struggling and it is for this very reason we need to make sure our younger population is prepared and skilled in supporting one other.”

The event included fun activities that encouraged participation including a drumming circle by Langford, a photo booth and badge making by The Salvation Army, Anglicare’s mobile office, a Headspace chill-out zone, St Vincent de Paul’s Loui’s Van and an R U OK? bunting workshop.

The Youth Entrepreneurial Service (YES) also made mental health survival kits and Cosgrove High School delighted guests with free cupcakes.

For more information about R U OK? Day visit www.ruokday.org.au.

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Caption: Glenorchy Youth Task Force members, from left, Katie Hyland, Samantha Burr, Mitchell Woolley and Alex Gardiner.