READY TO HELP: USQ Health Promotion Officer Katie Levitt speaks with USQ staff member and student Peter Harris.
READY TO HELP: USQ Health Promotion Officer Katie Levitt speaks with USQ staff member and student Peter Harris. Grace Yu

Simple question can save a life

ARE you okay? It's a simple question that could save a life.

R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create a world where everyone is connected and is protected from suicide. It's national day of action, R U OK? Day, was held September 8.

A number of R U OK? Day activities took place at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) during common hour last week, encouraging people to meaningfully connect with those around them.

USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said the University was proud to support R U OK? Day, and urged the USQ community to ask friends, family and co-workers if they are ok.

"This is an opportunity to re-connect with someone you've lost touch with, start a conversation and help make a difference," Professor Thomas said.

"We're stronger together, so ask, listen without judgement, encourage action, and check in."

Proudly supported by USQ Student Services, Human Resources, Phoenix Central and Bounce, there were various activities for staff and students, with plenty of chances to have fun and converse.

At USQ Springfield, students enjoyed free cupcakes and a picnic on the grass, while there were mindfulness exercises at USQ Ipswich. Information for students and staff was also available.

Peter Harris, a USQ staff member and student, visited the R U OK? Day information stand and commended the purpose of the national day of action.

"It's a good initiative because people suffer in silence. You need to make the effort to go to them and talk," he said.

"It's important to have these opportunities to gather as a community. Events like this, and like Harmony Day and others, bring people out in the world and get them talking."

For more information on USQ support services for students, visit usq.edu.au/studentservices. Learn more about R U OK? at www.ruok.org.au.



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