Bundaberg Region goes yellow for RUOK Day

RUOK Day Childers
Isis State High School volunteers assisting with RUOK Day at Childers Library, from left: Karlos Patrick, Chloe Sama, Lachlan George, Callum Nugent, Thomas Clatworthy, Elizabeth Bonanno and Ethan Reeves.

The Bundaberg Region went yellow today for RUOK Day.

Among them, student volunteers from Isis District State High School attended the Childers Library to assist.

Spreading the message about RU OK? Day at the Childers Library today are Isis High School students Chloe Sama and Elizabeth Bonanno with Council Youth Development Officer Andrea Bax.

RUOK? Day is a national day of action, reminding everyone to ask, “Are you OK?” and to remember every day of the year to support people who may be struggling with life’s ups and downs.

Morning tea was provided for library visitors with the students engaged in posing the familiar question “RUOK?”

Bundaberg Regional Council youth development officer Andrea Bax said many people were often reluctant to ask the question in case they received a negative response.

“Having people reply that “no, they are not okay” was at times daunting for people,” she said.

Andrea said the day was very well promoted with more focus placed on mental health issues and wellness.

“The best thing you can do for someone who may be feeling some form of depression is to listen to them and advise them where they can get assistance,” she said.

Older people reflect at Ingenia Gardens

Thoughtful residents at Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg took special care to ask are you okay today in a bid to support those with depression and feelings of sadness in and around their community.

Australia has one of the highest rates of depression amongst older people in the world, with one-in-10 Australians over the age of 55 living with depression.

Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg resident Lynette Drews knows all too well the devastating impact depression can have.

Ingenia Gardens RUOK Day
Residents at Ingenia Gardens in Bundaberg observed RUOK Day including Lynette Drews who has lost four family members to depression.

“Four of my family members have passed away as a result of suicide – it is a horrible thing for anyone to go through – it leads you to wonder if there was anything you could have done to help them,” Ms Drews said.

“Depression is an issue which affects people from all walks of life – no matter their gender, race or age – it is important for us, as seniors, to go out into the community and show our support.

“The residents here, at Ingenia Gardens, all look out for each other – we often check in on our neighbours to make sure they are ok, especially if we haven’t seen them a lot lately or if they don’t seem themselves.

“I would encourage everyone to take the time to have quality conversations with their neighbours, friends and loved ones and let them know you are always there if they need a helping hand or someone to talk to.”

Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg Community Manager and RUOK Day community champion Stephanie Dobbin said depression can hit older people hard.

“They don’t want to be seen as weak or incapable, so what we want to do is encourage residents to be involved in their friends’ lives and to form meaningful relationships, so they can talk about how they are really feeling,” Ms Dobbin said.

Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg opened a dedicated conversation space for residents two years ago aimed at helping connect people with anxiety and depression.

“The gazebo is a place where residents can meet, chat and connect with each other about life’s ups and down,” Ms Dobbin said.