13 September, 2022
R U OK Oakey?
Last week, local businesses, schools and residents celebrated R U OK? Day in an effort to raise awareness about mental health by reminding people to check in with others and ask the simple question - are you okay??
R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity that aims to promote positive well-being and mental health through encouraging people to stay connected to friends, family, colleagues and the local community.
Their work focuses on building the motivation, confidence and skills of the help-giver – the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling with life.
R U OK? contributes to suicide prevention efforts by encouraging people to invest more time in their personal relationships and build informal support networks.
Anyone can be a help-giver by staying alert to those around them, having a conversation if they identify signs of distress or difficulty and connect someone to appropriate support long before they’re in crisis.
This is the 10th year Oakey has run an R U OK? stall to raise awareness for the cause and collect much-needed donations for the charity.
Oakey local and organiser Deb said Oakey was the first place in the entire Darling Downs region to host an R U OK? stall and event.
“We were the first place to host an R U OK? stall in the Darling Downs, even before Toowoomba,” she said.
“And now it’s just spread each year.
“Every dollar that we raise goes back into the local community.”
She said some of the money will go back to local organisations, including the Lions Club, and there’s also an idea brewing to revitalise the gardens in front of the shops on Campbell Street, Oakey.
The whole community was behind the annual event, with JLC Real Estate and Goondir Health sponsoring the day and Hamlyn’s Meats supplying some of the food for the barbecue which was cooked and prepared by the Oakey Lions Club.
“JLC Real Estate would like to thank all those who volunteered and supported the R U OK? DAY,” owners Jamie and Laurie said.
“The community really did support this meaningful day and we thank all those who were involved.
“Thank you to the Lions Club, Goondir and the staff of JLC Real Estate.
“We would also like to thank Pat Weir for his support of this event.”
Member for Condamine Pat Weir spoke about the importance of R U OK? Day and cut the cake
with guest speaker Anne Doyle, who has had a long career working in mental health.
Local schools were also involved, with the Oakey State High School Well-being Team and members of the school community handing out 250 free yellow cupcakes to students and staff to encourage and start the conversation of are you okay?
Additionally, St Monicas Catholic Primary School students and staff held a special R U OK? presentation at their school assembly last Friday and Oakey State School were paid a visit by the R U OK? clown!
For more information about R U OK? Day, visit https://www.ruok.org.au/