R U OK? Day

5th September 2018 

Matters of Interest 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (16:37): I rise today to speak about the World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day that will be commemorated next week. I am very pleased to commend a number of activities that are happening around the state on both of those days but also I think on the weekend preceding them and throughout the week. Obviously, World Suicide Prevention Day is always on 10 September, so that will be next Monday, and R U OK? Day is held on 13 September. 

I think the response to both of those days has increased enormously in recent times. While I have had a specific focus on suicide prevention for many years, I think the advent of R U OK? Day has been very helpful because there are some people who have not been ready to grasp the topic of suicide prevention directly but have been ready to perhaps take on the aims of R U OK? Day. I think both of those events are very well intertwined within the community. 

Today, in the House of Assembly, the member for Waite, Mr Sam Duluk, moved a motion particularly around R U OK? Day, and many members of that chamber spoke very well about activities in their own electorates around R U OK? Day particularly but also around many of the activities to do with World Suicide Prevention Day as well as their own local suicide prevention networks and other associated groups. 

To highlight some of the things that are happening next week, currently we have the Suicide Prevention Networks’ stand at the Royal Adelaide Show. I was a significant part of that last year and will take part again this weekend. I commend the volunteers and members of the trained staff from the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist and, from my own office of the Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention, staff who have also been trained and are handing out StaySafe kits to members of the public. Each kit contains two tea bags and two wallet cards, and I think it also adds to the discussion about these matters. I witnessed that at last year’s Show. 

Also at the Showgrounds on Sunday is the annual Ride Against Suicide, which is being run for the third consecutive year. Motorbike riders commence from three locations, Nuriootpa, Mannum and Two Wells, and come to the Showgrounds on the afternoon of the final Sunday of the Show. I will be participating on Sunday morning in the Onkaparinga Seaside Walk for Suicide Prevention, which will run from the Esplanade at Port Noarlunga South to Moana. I commend that event and many others that are commemorating this time of the year when many people come together to advocate awareness about the impacts of suicide and mental illness. 

Next Monday evening, in the company of the member for Narungga, I will be attending the showing of the film The Ripple Effect at the Maitland Town Hall, which will be conducted by the SOS Yorkes suicide prevention network. Also next week, MATES in Construction are holding an industry leaders’ lunch, at which I have been invited to speak. I have had a long association with MATES in Construction and the work they do in the construction industry to prevent suicide in that sector. 

All of the volunteers involved in the groups that are running these events are to be commended. I am delighted that so many people, including members of parliament from across the electoral divide, are right behind these efforts. It is very welcome and I look forward to seeing many people at all these events next week.