Queensland Minister for Education Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek
Ask Queensland Students, R U OK Today?
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek will join teachers, counsellors and chaplains at schools across the state by asking students R U OK? today and he’s encouraging Queenslanders of all ages to ask the same important question.
Mr. Langbroek said the R U OK? Day initiative was a good opportunity for parents and school communities to connect with their young people.
“Young people tend to internalise their concerns and it is important that they are asked to share their thoughts.” Mr. Langbroek said.
“Young people are connected online more than ever before and while that has lots of benefits, it also has many concerns, including peer pressure and bullying. Talking about these things can really help.”
“Having my own teenage son I know how challenging it can be to get boys and young men in particular to open up, but I also know that simply asking R U OK? is first step.”
“Schools also play an important role in maintaining their students’ wellbeing and mental health.”
“The Newman Government has committed more than $1 Million to fund chaplaincy programs in schools, to help improve student welfare.”
Mr. Langbroek said chaplains play an important role in our schools and offer guidance to our most vulnerable students.
“To students, Chaplains are everything from a sympathetic ear to a helping hand.”
“Students use this vital service to talk about problems at home and issues inside and outside the school fence.” Mr. Langbroek said.
“Chaplains work with teachers, principals and education staff to complement departmental health and welfare services and policies.”
“While chaplains and teachers ask students if they are OK every day, today is a great reminder to ask all students how they are feeling.” Mr. Langbroek said.
R U OK? Day is organised by an independent, not-for-profit organisation. It is held annually on 12 September to raise awareness of suicide prevention strategies.