International stars Simon Baker and Hugh Jackman have joined forces to prevent suicide by today launching messages encouraging Australians to simply ask; “Are you okay?” and help stop little problems from turning into big problems.
R U OK? Day, now in its second year, is the first national initiative of its kind. On R U OK? Day on October 7, all Australians will again be invited to connect with their friends, loved ones and colleagues by reaching out to anyone doing it tough and having a conversation that could change a life.
Baker and Jackman join a host of Australian identities, including former Australian netball captain and sports commentator for One HD Liz Ellis, 2Day FM radio identities Kyle and Jackie O, actors Dominic Purcell and Matt Day, Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer, rugby league identity Wendell Sailor and legendary Australian actor Jack Thompson to support the initiative.
Purcell, star of hit series Prison Break, will soon appear on the big screen in the remake of the 1971 classic Straw Dogs. On a short visit to family in Sydney after a few months filming Killer Elite with Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, Purcell cleared his diary to attend the R U OK? Day public event at Ravesi’s on Bondi Beach on October 7.
“From time to time we all do it tough and need a little support. R U OK? Day is about thinking about who in your life might need that support,” Purcell said.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the number of Australians who take their own lives each year could be as high as 2,500.
R U OK? Day Founder and CEO Gavin Larkin said the support of these public identities is critical in tackling Australia’s unacceptably high suicide rate.
“Suicide is the biggest killer of 18-35 year olds in this country. We need to start talking about this as much as we talk about the road toll and the support of big stars like Jack, Hugh and Simon helps us do that,” Larkin said.
Larkin, whose father took his own life, has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most successful ad men and is familiar with working with big names.
“Simon and Jack have lent their talents to our tv and radio advertising and Hugh and YouTube sensation Natalie Tran will help us get the message out on-line. Our other big names are helping us at live events and through more traditional media. Some public identities are reluctant to put their name to suicide prevention campaigns, so we’re thrilled to have the support of these big names in tackling this national crisis,” Larkin added.
To see Baker and Jackman’s messages of support and for more information on R U OK? Day and how to have an effective conversation and where to get further help, visit www.ruokday.com.au Our supporters
A key goal of R U OK? Day and R U OK? at Work is to promote awareness of the resources available by raising the profile of existing organisations that provide services to those needing support.
R U OK? Day and R U OK? at Work’s supporting information partners include beyondblue, Black Dog Institute, headspace, Lifeline, Wesley LifeForce, mindframe, National Prescribing Service, Reach Out, SANE Australia, Suicide Prevention Australia as well as the Australian General Practice Network and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
National HELPLINES for crisis counselling:
• Lifeline: 13 11 14
• Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 (for people aged between 5 and 25)
• Mens Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78
• Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467