Words by Nina Phillips
Photos by Juan Photography
This September at UniSA, students are celebrating R U OK? Day—a national day of action that promotes community connection—over multiple days, with art and crafts, free food, positive chit chats and more!
2020 has been a challenging year for, well, everyone and, as a university student, I for one feel more uncertain about my future than usual. With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to neglect your mental and social wellbeing.
UniSA Student Engagement Officer, Liz Heffernan, is heading the creative team behind this year’s R U OK? Day campus events—aimed to insight honest discussions about mental health.
Unlike previous years, Liz and her team are organising this year’s R U OK? Day activities in adherence to social distancing regulations.
“In the past, we’ve done events around “sharing food and sharing conversations”, but we can’t share food anymore,” Liz said.
“This year, each campus gets an art workshop… students receive their own free brekkie or lunch, can do something creative and have a conversation with someone new.”
Tuesday 1 September marked the first of four RUOK? Day events taking place at each campus during Week 6 and Week 7 of SP5.
The events are co-hosted by UniSA batyr—a peer-led organisation dedicated to smashing the stigma of mental ill health amongst students—and supported by the university’s health clinic and counselling services.
UniSA batyr’s president, Joyce Intong, believes events of this nature are crucial in enabling students to feel confident about seeking help.
“It’s important to check-in with students and see how they’re travelling,” Joyce said
“We want to normalise the idea of seeking help and inform them about the different support services that the university has available.”
Representatives from UniSA’s health clinic and counselling services are present at every event—providing students with specific information on how and where to reach out if they need it. The UniSA Rainbow Club and Self Care Society are also onsite with additional support.
Tickets for the final R U OK? Day event, on Thursday 10 September at City West, have already run out! If you’d like to come along to the Magill campus event, on Tuesday 8 September, make sure to register online today. Click the link below!