Conversations will open this week, as the national day of action, R U OK Day is held across the Bundaberg Region.
R U OK Day will be held a little differently this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the message will remain the same, as people in the community help start a conversation, to make a difference in someone’s life.
Thursday, 10 September, is the annual day of action when community members are reminded that every day is the day to ask, “are you okay?” if someone in their world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.
Gin Gin and Childers Neighbourhood Centre Community Development Officers will take to local streets on Thursday, to open the conversation and ask the simple question: R U OK?
Staff will have a focus on reducing the stigma of mental illness and work to inform and engage community members about mental health and wellbeing.
The day before the official R U OK Day, Wednesday, 9 September, Council and Lifeline Community Care representatives will be in Bundaberg CBD, with banners for community members to leave their message of support for others.
Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said this year had been a challenging year for everyone, and circumstances had made it even more important, for the local community to stay connected.
“R U OK Day has always been very well supported in the Bundaberg Region,” Cr McPhee said.
“It promotes connectivity in the community and gives us the opportunity to wrap ourselves around community issues.”
Cr McPhee said the day, which is aimed at suicide prevention, was all about keeping the conversation going.
She was at the unveiling, back in September 2016, when Bundaberg became home to Australia's first public R U OK community conversation space.
Cr McPhee was personally devastated by suicide when she lost her own father less than 12 months later.
“The RUOK message is a wonderful initiative to help start discussion.
“It encourages those who are hurting to access appropriate help long before they’re in crisis, which can make a really positive difference to their life.
“Council staff will be easily recognised with their yellow aprons, and I encourage people to stop by and say ‘hi’.”
A community R U OK Day event will also be held at Neilsens Beach at 5.30 am on Thursday.
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