Are you OK?
An Ohio State initiative is bringing the simple yet transformative question to life at a campus event Thursday, with the intention of addressing and erasing the negative stigma that surrounds mental health.
The annual RUOK? Day will take place Thursday in the Ohio Union from 3-7 p.m., and is free to students. Buckeyes Campaign Against Suicide (BCAS) is the event host.
RUOK? Day — now Ohio State’s largest mental health event — was created to help students who wouldn’t usually seek out mental health professionals get exposure to the resources they might need.
These resources come not only from Ohio State’s campus, but also national and local organizations.
Vijay Shah, the president of BCAS and a fourth-year in biology, said one of the main reasons he is so passionate about the event is the lack of exposure for services like Counseling and Consultation Service on campus.
“I’m a senior and the other day my friend, who’s also a senior, told me that she hadn’t even heard of CCS before,” Shah said. “That’s something that really shocked me and really showed the importance of having such a large event like this on our campus that attracts over a thousand individuals annually.”
Shah added, “this event helps students to know that it’s not weird to seek out these services.”
At the event, there also will be therapy dogs, free t-shirts and food. The goal is for every student who attends to leave confident enough to ask someone on campus “Are you OK?”.
“Being able to interact at the event allows people the opportunity to be able to reach out for the first time and understand what things they can do for their mental health even if they aren’t feeling suicidal or depressed,” Shah said.
Ohio State Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service can be reached at 614-292-5766. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.