SuniTAFE Asks ‘R U OK?’

18 Sep 2023

SuniTAFE demonstrated its support for R U OK? Day last week with events at both the Mildura and Swan Hill campuses, hosted by the Student Support Services department.

R U OK? Day is an annual event where organisations are encouraged to wear yellow and start discussions about mental health. It centres around the idea that just asking someone if they are ok is a necessary first step in tackling mental health battles.

Swan Hill was treated to a free sausage sizzle and games of ‘Conversation Bingo,’ promoting discussion between students and staff.

Mildura celebrated with a stall in the Student Hub, complete with Student Support Services-branded chocolate bars and a mental health quiz and lucky dip. Though it was planned as a morning tea to conclude at 11am, the event was extended until 2pm due to the positive response from staff and students.

Both campuses successfully spread the R U OK? message by starting conversations and providing resources.
Team Leader of Student Support Services Lyn Andrew was pleased with how the Swan Hill event turned out.
“We had a steady flow of students and staff during the lunch time barbeque,” Lyn said.

“Everyone mingled together and engaged in conversation about the importance of checking in with friends, family, and work colleagues on a regular basis and not just on R U OK? Day.”

Student Wellbeing Officer Brittney Carter was similarly impressed with the Mildura event.

“The response from staff and students alike was fantastic! Due to the stall being busy with a constant flow of people, the decision was made to extend the event. We even included a lunch which was whipped up at late notice by our Café staff,” she said.

The 2023 R U OK? Day theme is ‘Here to Hear.’ This applies to much of what Student Support Services does every day for SuniTAFE students. 

“Part of our role in Student Support Services is to support students who are struggling with their mental health,” Brittney said.

“We assess their risk of self-harm or suicide, provide information, support, and strategies to improve their mental health and reduce the rick of self-harm or suicide. We also link those at a heightened risk of self-harm or suicide into specialised or crisis support.”

“Another part of our role is education and raising awareness to help destigmatise talking about mental health, and remind them of the signs to look out for.”

Student Support Services would like to thank everyone who attended the events at both campuses. They were the most highly attended and well-received R U OK? Day activations in recent years.  

Click here to read more about Student Support Services at SuniTAFE.