R U OK Day 2019—How to promote positive mental health and well-being

R U OK Day 2019 is a reminder to check in with loved ones and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Here are some ideas for ways you, your friends or your office can raise money for a cause, as well as help promote a positive mental health and wellbeing.

Article spotlight:

  • When is R U OK Day?
  • What is R U OK Day?
  • How you can get involved with R U OK Day.
  • R U OK resources.

It’s easy to forget in our own busy and stressful lives to check up on other. R U OK Day is a reminder to have meaningful conversations with our friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and others around us—not just on this one day, but every day.

Find out what you can do to bring awareness to this important day below.

If you or you believe someone you know is experiencing emotional distress, Lifeline operates a national, 24/7 crisis support hotline on 13 11 14. A crisis support chat is also available via their website. For emergency situations, please call 000 or go to your nearest emergency room

What is R U OK Day? Why is it important?

R U OK Day is held on 12th September each year to remind us to have those life-changing conversations and to raise funds for not-for-profit organisation, R U OK? The aim is that by ensuring people have meaningful connections, it can reduce lives lost through suicide.

Funds raised by R U OK Day activities go towards creating new campaigns and free resources to inspire us to support one another year-round, and get the materials into more schools, workplaces and Aussie communities. R U OK also funds research and evaluation to ensure they’re making a difference.

How to get involved in raising funds for R U OK Day.

R U OK Day Fundraising Ideas

1. Host a yellow-themed day.

The official colour of R U OK Day is yellow. Not only will donations on the day help raise funds, but also all of your school, workplace or community wearing yellow will raise awareness to the cause. For added funds, create and sell yellow ribbons on the day for people to pin to their shirts. And don’t forget those yellow decorations.

2. Create a fun run, marathon or physical activity team.

Exercise poses many mental health benefits, so what better activity to raise funds than something to get everyone active. Find a local fun run, marathon or other physical challenge and bid your donations to the R U OK charity.

3. Plan a morning or afternoon tea.

A morning or afternoon tea is a great way to raise funds, as well as bring together a group of people to build relationships. You may even like to combine one of the activities with your morning or afternoon tea to promote important discussions and introduce people to others. It’s the perfect time to whip out this No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake recipe.

4. Organise a raffle or auction.

Get your customers and community involved in a cause you’re passionate about. See if anyone would like to donate a prize for a raffle or items for auction and then invite everyone you know to donate and join in the event. The R U OK website has a fundraising guide so you can see how to use their logos and ideas for marketing.

5. Set up a sausage sizzler or bake sale.

Again, another way to get your community involved. Ask for a gold coin donation and in turn, they’ll receive a delicious baked treat or yummy sausage on bread (don’t forget that onion).

R U OK Day Activities

1. Share and utilize the R U OK resources.

The official R U OK website has many resources available for individuals, schools and workplaces sharing how to ask the question, conversations to raise in different environments and how to support both yourself and others. Remember, R U OK Day is simply one day of the year reminding us to connect with others. These free resources will help you integrate it into your everyday life too.

2. Put up a kindness board.

At some point in our lives, everyone feels alone. Encourage teachers, students, colleagues and the community to share the love and positivity by putting up a kindness board. Corkboards are cheap to purchase, and you can provide pens and sticky notes so people can share quotes, positive reminders and kind messages about someone.

3. Organise get-to-know-you, mental and physical health events.

This is something positive to do all year round, not just on R U OK Day. Schedule time at your school, workplace or in your community for people to relax and unwind, get to know others or connect over mutual interests, such as yoga, walking, music, etc. It’s good to provide cues for people to interact with each other, in case there are some people in the group not comfortable approaching others.

4. Share the 4 simple steps of checking if someone is actually ok.

It can be hard to open up and ask for help. R U OK shares these 4 simple steps for checking in on those around you:

  • Genuinely ask if they are okay in a suitable way.
  • Listen to what they have to say.
  • Show them you are there to support them, while providing possible action routes.
  • Check in on them and see how they are going and if they need help.

5. Remove the stigma from getting professional help.

Like you’d see a doctor, physiotherapist or optometrist for your physical health, seeking professional help for your mental health is a smart move. A psychologist provides a safe environment for you to discuss what’s going on in your life and receive professional advice and assistance in managing your mental health.

Find the best psychologists in your area

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      Feature Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

      Brit McDowell

      Lifestyle Specialist & Subject Matter Expert

      Brit McDowell is a Subject Matter Expert at Localsearch with a background in marketing, business and tourism management. Aside from her specialisation in technical processes, Brit is known for her green thumb and growing succulent collection, love of dogs (especially Dalmatians), eye for home interior and fervour for travel. Brit is also a Lifestyle Specialist on the Localsearch Blog and enjoys sharing her research and knowledge in home and gardening services, food, beauty and general lifestyle tips and tricks.