R U OK? has launched a campaign to equip community coaches with resources and tips to ensure all members of their sporting community feel safe and supported.
The ‘Hey Sport, R U OK?’ campaign is backed by QBE Foundation and promotes an R U OK? culture of mutual respect, trust, authenticity and a shared willingness to support those in the grassroots sporting community who might be struggling.
Chief executive Katherine Newton says sport has a crucial role in the community.
“Sport can break down barriers, reduce stigma and provide a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive, but for that to happen everyone needs to play their part, none more so than coaches,” she said.
“All the feedback and advice we have listened to points to coaches as having the most influential role in grassroots sport and the opportunity to change lives.”
The ‘Hey Sport, R U OK?’ campaign provides resources to help coaches spot the signs that someone might be struggling, and guides them through what to say and do in the event one of their athletes, players or sporting colleagues is not okay.
“We are, sadly, too often contacted by sporting clubs and associations who want to host games or activities to honour members of their sporting community who have died by suicide,” Ms Newton said.
“This has highlighted a further need for a proactive preventative approach and has led us to develop the ‘Hey Sport, R U OK?’ campaign.
“The audience for these resources is significant as is the potential positive impact because sport talks to all age groups across economic, regional and cultural demographic markers.”
The ‘Hey Sport, R U OK?’ resources are available for free download and include a Conversation Guide for Coaches, 10 principles of an R U OK? Culture, posters for display in sporting clubs and training facilities, tips on how to ask, “Are you OK?” and what to do next.
If you need guidance on how to support someone, visit ruok.org.au or if you need support or know someone who does, visit ruok.org.au/findhelp for professional support services and self-care tools.