Mental health campaign R U OK Day celebrated by community groups in Muswellbrook

There was a good turnout for the R U OK Day event at the Muswellbrook PCYC on Thursday
There was a good turnout for the R U OK Day event at the Muswellbrook PCYC on Thursday

ASKING if someone is okay can save a life, which is why community organisations came together on Thursday to raise awareness for the initiative.

Following its inception in 2009, R U OK Day has become a national staple aimed at preventing people from self-harming.

In Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter Community Services (UHCS) hosted an event supporting the charity at the PCYC with sausage sizzles, boxing classes and fan favourite futsal.

This drew the attention of many children, who were also given information about the importance of maintaining positive mental health and how to help friends who are in trouble.

UHCS development officer Jessica Dallah emphasised how crucial the program was, and said it’s a very easy thing to ask, especially given it can accomplish such a large result.

“It’s very important, a conversation could change a life,” she explained.

“It’s just a simple question - are you okay - and it could help a lot of people.”

Activities officer at the PCYC, Jordi Adam-Smith, also shared the importance of having a good mental health and making sure those around us are feeling okay, too.

“Mental health is something that’s very close to our heart,” she said.

“We deal with mental health on a daily basis, whether it be talking to the community, or youth or within our own circle.

“It’s just something we definitely want to keep talking about.

“We want to encourage the community to talk, the kids to talk and just everyone to make sure they are okay and if not then speak up.”

Ms Adam-Smith is hoping to continue the relationship with the PCYC into the future, and said she thought it was a success this year.

“We love seeing the kids come down and having a good time with some of our actives,” she said.

“And we’ve loved having them here today along with Upper Hunter Community Services.”

Ms Dallah was also looking to do the same thing next year with an even bigger turnout, and thanked BHP Mt Arthur Coal for sponsoring both them and the PCYC to allow the partnership to continue.

Finally, UHCS highlighted it was never a bad time to ask if someone is okay, and people should always be wary of their own mental state as well as those around them.