9 September 2015
The positive impact that face-to-face conversations can have on mental health will be highlighted when the University of the Sunshine Coast celebrates R U OK? Day tomorrow (Thursday 10 September).
USC has for some years marked this annual event, which is a national day of action to remind all Australians of the importance of checking on the welfare of friends, colleagues and family.
R U OK? Day was started in 2009 by Gavin Larkin, whose vision is a world where everyone is connected and protected from suicide, the leading cause of death for Australians under the age of 44.
The University will mark the occasion from 10am to 2pm with activities and information available near the Brasserie, including a free barbecue lunch, a bean bag “chill out” zone and board games.
Alex Sharp of USC’s Student Life and Learning said regular, face-to-face conversations helped people to build and maintain strong relationships with friends and family.
“Research shows that people with these strong relationships are more likely to cope with life’s ups and downs,” she said.
“For R U OK? Day, USC will be giving away official merchandise and resource materials in support of this important cause to raise awareness of how a conversation can change a life.”
Ms Sharp said USC would also launch a free mental health training program for staff and students called 'Conversations for Life' that was developed by Sunshine Coast based company ConNetica.
ConNetica CEO John Mendoza, who is also a USC adjunct professor, will be on campus for the event. He will be available for media interviews from 10am.
— Terry Walsh