R U OK? at Uni

The irony is there’s not much space in the calendars at Uni and TAFE to champion meaningful conversations, yet students can be under immense study, work, family, social and financial pressures. That’s why we’ve collaborated with Monash, RMIT and Western Sydney University to come up with ways to encourage students to ask this potentially life-changing question.

Step 1:

Explore the website to understand what we’re all about

Step 2:

Get "famous" faces involved

There’s always a group of people on campus who just know everyone. Include them in your plans, as you’ll need key champions and decision makers to help you out. These people could be:

  • Executive team - to help you get in contact with most appropriate people, such as campus managers.
  • Campus managers - to ensure relevant facilities are involved
  • Events and activities coordinators - to help host and organise events
  • Student-run bodies - to ensure maximum student engagement
  • Student health and wellbeing services - to promote on-campus supports to any person struggling with life
  • Cleaning staff - to ensure posters and promotional material are not removed
  • Internal IT - to secure time to broadcast key messages


Step 3:

Explain why you want to do something

Tell the who’s who why you want to do something. You could write something like this:

To help support a national movement dedicated to inspiring meaningful and regular conversations to change lives, I would appreciate your support in hosting an R U OK? event on our campus.

R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation whose vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide. Accordingly, its mission is to encourage and equip everyone to be able to regularly and meaningfully ask “are you okay?

As someone who supports this, I would like to help more people find the courage to reach out to people on campus. Will you be a part of this?

Once the email has been sent, follow up with a phone call in a week’s time.

Step 4:

Start planning your event

  • Think about what’s been a success already and what you can learn from that
  • Ask student leaders to give a speech on why they believe conversations can change lives for the better
  • Play stories in lectures
  • Invite students to design posters with R U OK? messaging to put up around campus
  • Decorate common areas with speech bubbles and question marks or check out our store
  • Urge all students and staff to wear bright yellow or orange
  • Host a free BBQ and write 'R U OK?' on sausages and burgers with tomato or mustard sauce
  • Host an all campus touch football/basketball match and organise teams so that people who don't know each other are on the same side
  • Host a talent-style event to bring your students together, like a freestyle rap competition, live art creation or DIY competition 
  • Change your uni or TAFE's sign to 'R U OK? A conversation can change a life'
  • Create Conversation Corners by flagging certain areas with yellow and black speech bubbles or helium balloons and set out tables/chairs in groups of two
  • Ask lectures to give students 15 minutes in class to start a conversation with one another
  • Organise students to spell R U OK? on their sporting fields or quad and photograph from a tall building

Step 5:

Download our presentation on how to ask the question and posters. Ask the Vice Chancellor or other senior person to send an email to all students to promote the event.

Step 6:

Keep key players informed

Step 7:

Celebrate, capture and share the message!