Many don’t realise that suicide is the biggest killer of Australians under 44 years, with an average of 2,400 Australians suiciding each year, in addition to the 65,000 people who attempt to end their lives.
R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to tackle the issue of suicide by inspiring Australians to have regular, meaningful conversations throughout the year to help anyone who might be struggling with life.
One month out from the well-known R U OK? Day, the not-for-profit foundation has hit the road in a bright yellow bus, embarking on a nationwide tour that will see them take their message through 18 towns within Australia on a five-week, 12,000 kilometre journey.
The tour will be comprised of 18 community events, held in regional and metropolitan areas, as well as schools, sports clubs and other community groups, with the final stop in Sydney on R U Ok? Day, Thursday 11th September.
The aim of the tour is to encourage Australians to be even better mates by asking ‘Are you ok?’ more regularly.
R U OK? General Manager, Brendan Maher said the Bus Tour is all about getting out to communities, getting people together and inspiring people to ask someone, ‘Are you ok?’.
“We all know how important mates are but sometimes we forget to ask those closest to us the simplest of questions,” Brendan said.
The first leg of the tour kicked off in Darwin yesterday and was joined by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Hon Nigel Scullion, as well as members of the local community. Speaking at the launch, Scullion said, “while we cannot bring back the people we’ve lost to suicide, we can help each other through life’s difficult times and do this long before someone even thinks about taking their own life. I urge everyone to take the time to start a conversation and really listen to what a mate has to say.”
Brendan said: “The goal this year is to sign up 23,000 Conversation Mates who’ll commit to asking the question more regularly to family and friends. Senator Scullion was the first Conversation Mate and we hope thousands more will join him.”
Everyone is encouraged to sign up at the events in the town or at ruokday.com, where the number of conversation mates will be displayed on an interactive map.
Anyone can sign up at the events in the town or at ruokday.com, where the number of Conversation Mates will be displayed on an interactive map.
Everyone is encouraged to come to R U OK? community events for a free bbq and entertainment.
You can also follow the tour and see the interactive map at ruokday.com