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Onewave Supports r U Ok? day

For Release 15th September 2013

Onewave Supports r U Ok? day and Encourages Local Community to Create Conversations

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Over 65,000 people worldwide die of suicide per year with over 500 of those being New Zealanders.

R U OK? Day is held on the 12th of September each year. R U OK? Day helps people to regularly and meaningfully ask “R U OK?” in order to reduce the impact of depression and to support people who are struggling with life.

Many local community organisations have also thrown their support behind the day, including not for profit ONEWAVE.

ONEWAVE is a not for profit surf organization that is raising awareness for being in a funk, anything from depression to anxiety and bipolar. ONEWAVE has created a supportive community to reduce the ‘effects one wave at a time’.

New Zealand local Jared Pollock has created a collage of images of individuals holding up signs that read “ R U OK?” to show people who are in a bad mental state, that they are not alone. People are willing to help and ask R U OK?

“Having known people who have suffered from depression, I have a first hand recollection of how important it is to ask if someone is ok. Even if they are okay and not going through a ‘funk,’ its very comforting for them to know that there are people looking out for them,” Pollock said.

The collage is a collection of powerful images that contains 114 people holding up a sign saying “R U OK?”. ONEWAVE and R U OK? Day are two foundations that encourage people who are struggling with life to speak up and get support.
“Looking at the statistics in New Zealand, each week 10 people commit suicide, but that number doesn’t include those who have attempted, making the number scarily higher. The success of foundations such as R U OK? Day and ONEWAVE, we can all band together and help reduce this number and encourage people to speak up when you are not ok” Pollock said.

R U OK? Day and ONEWAVE’S vision are very similar to one another. R U OK? Day’s vision is to create a world where all people are connected and protected from suicide. The two foundations aim to regularly and meaningfully ask “are you ok?” to help those who are not okay and those struggling with life.

“I thought a collage would be a meaningful message to show those who are struggling with life that it is okay and you are not alone. Although the image is 114 complete strangers it emphasises a large support group is available to anyone suffering with depression” Pollock said.

“I just got all my mates together and just asked if they would be keen to help out. They're already pretty familiar with what ONEWAVE stands for and are being really supportive of the cause. They were all really keen to help out. Everybody reached out to their respective friends, and soon people whom I have never met before sent photos in. It was really eye opening to get so much support, not only for what I'm doing, but for the cause in general.”

R U OK? Aspires to build the capacity of family members, friends, colleagues, teammates, students and community leaders to have regular, meaningful conversations with anyone who might be struggling with life. No problem is too big for one to take a life. Anyone and everyone is welcome in the ONEWAVE community. Remember to ask, “Are you OK?” and you could change someone’s life.


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