This Thursday (Sept 8)  is R U OK? Day and Mayor of Camden Therese Fedeli is reminding residents to check in with their family, friends and colleagues.

The initiative inspires and empowers everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and start a conversation with those who may be struggling.

“Connecting with a loved one or friend by asking one simple question can make a real impact to someone’s life,” Cr Fedeli said.

“After living through a challenging two years, many of us need some time to have a chat and get things off our chests.”

In 1995, much-loved Barry Larkin was far from ok. His suicide left family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions. In 2009, his son Gavin Larkin chose to champion just one question to honour his father and to try and protect other families from the pain his endured: “Are you OK?”

“You don’t need to be an expert to reach out to someone. All you have to do is be a good listener, encourage the person to seek assistance and check in every now and then,” Cr Fideli said.

“I encourage residents to touch base with their family and friends and be there for them if needed.”

Mental health and wellbeing are key focus areas for Camden Council.

Council has 22 waste trucks as part of its fleet and each of them have been wrapped with messages to raise awareness of important mental and physical health issues relevant to residents across the Camden area. Four of these are R U OK? messages to raise awareness around suicide prevention.

R U OK? Day is a reminder that every day is the day to check in with your friends, family and colleagues, as a conversation can often change a life. More details:

Photo: Joanne Chew (Camden Council Injury Management and Wellbeing Support Officer) , Mayor of Camden Cr Therese Fedeli and Katherine Mosca (Camden Council’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Officer)