19 September, 2023

Celebrating R U OK Day in Lowood

FREE cuppas sparked conversations on mental health at Rudy and Ada’s Café in Lowood on Thursday, September 14.

Celebrating R U OK Day in Lowood - feature photo

Local non-profit HealthWISE donated more than $6,500 to 29 cafes throughout southern Queensland and northwest New South Wales to shout the morning rush for R U OK? Day.

A national initiative which reminds Australians to check in on friends and family, customers were also offered R U OK? Day resources on starting conversations about mental health.

Owner of Rudy and Ada’s, Jason Klee, said that people often share their personal stories with hospitality workers.

“At the moment people are doing it tough both financially and emotionally,” he said.

“Taking time to catch up socially over a coffee is very important for people and R U OK? is a good opportunity to check in with others.”

HealthWISE Mental Health team leader, Tanya Hague, recognised that it can be daunting to ask a loved one if they’re okay, especially if the answer is no.

She said you don’t need to be a health professional to help someone who’s struggling, and it can be as simple as lending an ear.

“You can absolutely save someone's life just by listening. Just being there with them, showing them that you care, maybe offering to sit down and have a cup of tea with them,” she said.

“It is really important to genuinely listen to the person and give them your full attention. Be prepared, because it may be a long conversation,” she said.

Tanya recommended visiting the R U OK? Day website to learn more about how to respond when someone tells you they are not ok.

HealthWISE also supported emergency workers with coffee vouchers and targeted mental health resources, as part of ‘Are They Triple OK?’.

The companion campaign was developedby R U OK? in response to research by Beyond Blue which found that police and emergency service workers report suicidal thoughts more than twice as often as the general population.

Recover, Adapt, Connect team leader, Susan McGuire, said as part of the HealthWISE Recover, Adapt, Connect Black Summer Bushfires program, we’re working with people around preparedness for natural disasters, and first responders are front and centre in that.

Susan believes checking in with one another and learning more about mental health is the first step in preparing for times of crisis.

She said people who are prepared for uncertain events are more able to cope with the aftermath.

“We have also put together a presentation for emergency services around mental health resources that are available to them and their families,” Susan said.

HealthWISE presentations for emergency services workers can be requested by emailing

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Always call 000 if a life is in danger.


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