Hilliard Christian School (Tasmania) took part in R U OK? Day on September 9, alongside many other Australians around the country. With a staggering 45 percent of people in Australia having at some point struggled with mental health, Hilliard students and staff thought this was a brilliant idea to help spread awareness about this often-taboo subject.
Students and staff dressed in yellow, which is the designated color for the event. The high school joined together for a barbecue lunch, where Katy Matteo, the head of secondary, shared some information with students on signs that someone might be struggling and how to be a good mate to them.
Matteo also stressed the importance of ensuring students are okay first before trying to help someone else. Each student received a bookmark with contact details of where to go for help. Students played card games and R U OK? bingo, which set the tone to have conversations about mental health together. Zac Redman, Year 10 coordinator and teacher, and students cooked a barbecue lunch, and children received special R U OK? day cookies.
“The atmosphere was very relaxed and gave students the option if needed to talk about some of our struggles,” said Grace Matteo, a Year 8 student. “It was a fantastic event, and we hope to continue this at Hilliard each year to create awareness and, as a reminder, to check in on one another, as a conversation could change a life.”
“We would like to say a special thank you to the following businesses who supported our special event: Woolworths Moonah, Banjo’s Bakery Moonah, and Ally’s Sweet Treats.”