RUOK Day-"Are they really OK? Ask them today."
It can be hard to tell if someone you know is struggling while you aren’t seeing them face-to-face, so asking R U OK? is more important than ever. At Monash Residential Services (MRS) we are passionate about supporting the mental wellbeing of our students and staff living on campus. September 9 marked the second year R U OK? day that ran remotely. Our student leaders and support staff organised digital events and engagement activities to highlight the day and reach out to residents with the goal of fostering a culture where we're not afraid to ask "Are you okay?".
During the week after R U OK? Day, the support teams at the various residential buildings conducted personalised food drops to residents' doors because the conversations didn't stop after the day. Cupcakes, donuts, bubble tea, biscuits and strawberries (with subsequent recipe sharing) were delivered and particular efforts were made to reach out to residents who aren't generally as active as others in their hall. A video was created and shared with messages of support and encouragement to reach out to the residential support team as well as friends and family. Social media posts were shared to each residential group and the Halls Cafe facebook page got involved. A number of virtual dinners and community catch ups took place on the day which included conversations around mental health and how it is important to regularly check in with those around us, especially during challenging times.
The way people may seem on the outside doesn’t always reflect how they are feeling on the inside. To improve wellbeing and potentially save lives, it is important to reduce the stigma around mental health challenges by checking in with oneself, checking in with others and talking openly about what is really going on. This sharing can help other people feel more comfortable in reaching out and to know they are not alone in what they are feeling. R U Ok? Day at MRS has been an excellent way to highlight the importance of fostering strong community ties and connection with those around us in order to cultivate and sustain positive mental health, in ourselves and each other, now and into the future.
Information about R U OK? Day at Monash can be found here
If you are needing someone to talk to there is free counselling available at via the Monash Counselling Service
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support