BUCKHANNON — On Thursday, September 8, people around the world will celebrate Are You Okay Day. This day falls on the second Thursday of every September. Are You Okay Day is celebrated to assure that people are checking in on their friends and family in regard to their mental health.
According to nationaltoday.com, “The focus of this day is to prevent suicides and provide counseling. This day originated in the country of Australia, where in 1995 the suicide of Barry Larkin left his friends and family with unanswered questions. In 2009, his son Gavin Larkin decided to come up with question to honor not only his father, but also other victims of suicide; Are You Okay?”
The special day is celebrated to honor those who have suffered and who currently suffer with mental health struggles. The phrase “R U OK?” also doubles as a harm and suicide prevention charity organization that focuses on building a stronger knowledge for the help-givers so that they can quickly recognize suicidal situations.
As mentioned by nationaltoday.com, Are You Okay Day tries to remove the stigma of mental illnesses. In which case, mental illness carries a negative connotation suggesting that people who struggle mentally are weak people. This day serves the purpose of showing that even the strongest people need to be checked in on. After all, the small question can go a very long way. Are you okay?