The National Union of Students is proud to support R U OK day that aims to raise awareness of mental health and provide young people with strategies for resilience. NUS supports the events and activities that are taking place at University campuses across Australia today.

The Student Wellbeing Survey by NUS and Headspace late last year revealed that 35.4% of students have had thoughts of self-hard and suicide. Today we all need to ask each other, people we know and those we don’t- ‘are you ok?”.

“Today symbolizes a movement to start the conversation, a conversation that is well needed and long overdue” Said NUS Welfare Officer, Jill Molloy. “The question of ‘are you ok?’ is something we should be asking every day.”

Stigma is the largest barrier to students seeking help. Moreover, having a more open and honest discussion around mental health will see better and more readily available services on campus.

“It’s time Universities open their eyes and invest in mental health support services such as well staffed counselling services” Said Ms Molloy. “If Universities have such an interest in the performance of their students, the wellbeing of students must be taken into consideration too.”

“Part of the problem has been the lack of awareness and that was really highlighted when the Student Wellbeing report revealed serious levels of student mental health problems,” Said NUS President, Sophie Johnston, “Particularly at this time of year where exam pressures often lead to stress and anxiety, not to mention this divisive postal plebiscite, NUS is urging students to look out for eachother.”