By Emma Chin

By Emma Chin

Dear all students and staff of the Dental Faculty,

In light of the upcoming National RUOK? Day, AUDSS Student Affairs and ADSA are collaborating once again to bring you RUOK? Week which will be happening right here in the ADH Basement.

It’s commonly known that dental students suffer from considerable amounts of stress, whether it is to do with academic performance, being away from home, or other aspects of our personal lives. We are often warned about burn out and stress, but sometimes it’s difficult to seek help when we need it or find it hard to start that conversation that might alleviate some of that stress.

R U OK? is a campaign that aims to build the awareness and capacity of all Australia to have regular, meaningful conversations with family, friends and others in the community to prevent suicide. ‘Starting conversations to change lives’ promotes the importance of open, honest communication so that all people would ultimately be better supported and less vulnerable to a crisis or suicide death.  

Leading up to RUOK? Day (8th Sept), AUDSS have a few things planned.

We want to hear from YOU! Student, staff, members of the dental school, we are asking you, RUOK? 

In the Basement

In the basement
From Mon-Thurs next week between 12-1pm, we’ll be in the basement to ask RUOK? with nibbles and refreshments provided. Look out for those in the yellow shirts or RUOK wristbands and feel free to approach any one of us for a chat! The whiteboard will also be available for you to write about worries/concerns and to which other students can respond to. Feel free to write some supportive messages too!

Because this week is about spreading awareness, this year we’re asking you to show your support and help you spread the awareness of the campaign through social media! We’ll have a pop-up photo booth in the Basement on Tues and Thurs, for you to take photos and share it on social media with #ruokday #RUOK or #RUOKDay.


We have created an online from for you to express any concerns or comments anonymously. We’ll be reading these responses and having a virtual listen. Anything you say is confidential and we respect your privacy and know it’s sometimes difficult to open up.
Here’s the link: 

Please keep an eye out for more information about RUOK on ADSA’s mental health book (coming soon).

In the meantime, please take an opportunity to ask a friend, family member, someone you know “Are you okay?’ We shouldn’t have to suffer in silence or feel like we need to hide when we’re feeling down. This is a callout to EVERYONE in the Dental School. Give each other a pat on the back, a reassuring nod, an enlightening smile and be there to listen.

Here’s how to ask: www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

Where can I find Help

+ Adelaide University Union Student Care

Location: Education and Welfare Office @ Lady Symon Building, University of Adelaide
Contact #: (08) 8313 5430
Email: studentcare@adelaide.edu.au
Opened from 9am-5pm weekdays with confidential drop-in, phone and email assistance provided

Provides matters regarding:

  • Academic matters (e.g. retrospective withdrawal without fail, preclusion, unsatisfactory academic progress)
  • Advocacy (e.g. academic, financial and student welfare, unfair treatment and student remissions)
  • Welfare (e.g. financial hardship problems, information on centrelink and accommodation)
  • Student loans and grants
    o Emergency Loans
    o Interest free student loans: $500 (unsecured) and $2000 (secured)
    o Equal Access Grant Scheme
    o Critical Needs Grant (International Students can apply for this one!)
    o Walter and Dorothy Duncan Trust – supports one-off requests for study related financial assistance
  • Free legal service
  • Tax help

For further information, check out: https://www.auu.org.au (click on student care)

+ Adelaide university counseling service

Location: Ground Floor, Horace Lamb Building
Contact #: 8313 5663
Email: counseling.centre@adelaide.edu.au
Website: www.adelaide.edua.au/couseling_centre
Cost: Free, appointments can be made by contacting the counseling service during business hours. Appointments are usually 50 min duration. Drop in service (1-4pm; Monday-Friday) is also available – 20 minute duration, first come first serve basis

Everyone is bound to experience problems in their life. Seeking assistance can be a crucial first step in regaining control and moving forward in your life.

Range of issues that counselors are commonly presented with:

  • Stress, panic and anxiety
  • Depression, abuse, sexuality
  • Relationship and family issues
  • Self-esteem, eating problems
  • Grief and Loss
  • Drugs and Alcohol

+ Mental Health Triage Service

Telephone 13 14 65 Available for 24hrs, 7days a week
If you have never accessed a mental health service before, this is a good place to start. You can call this number if you feel like you need a bit of mental health support or if you’re in a mental health emergency or crisis and you need some advice or information. Mental health clinicians look after this line and will be able to assess and refer you to the appropriate services.
For more info, visit this website: http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/SA+Health+Internet/Health+services/Mental+health+services/

+ Beyond Blue

Depression is a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health. It can affect how people see themselves, their daily energy levels, their emotional status, and can make life more difficult to manage. This website presents an incredible wealth of information about depression – symptoms, consequences, assistance, treatment options and recovery. Beyondblue’s work has been towards achieving a community that understands depression and anxiety, and empower anyone, at any life-stage, to seek help.
To get immediate support, there are 3 contact methods:
Call 1300 22 4636 to talk to someone 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
Chat online from 3pm-12am (AEST) every day, 7 days a week.
Email them to get a response from a trained mental health professional within 24hrs.
For more info, visit these websites:

+ Sane

SANE Australia offers web based information on any mental health issues and a free Helpline Online Service. They’re becoming known for their Carers and Lived Experiences forums, open to anyone, which provide peer-to-pear type support for people living with a mental illness. Included in their current projects are mental issues focused around aged care, stigma, work-related stress and suicide prevention.
Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263) provides info and advice 9am-5pm during weekdays, and offers free easy-to-read InfoPack 24hrs daily.
Helpline Chat is a real-time chat live chat service that is also offered through this website.
Helpline Online allows people to ask questions regarding mental illnesses and related topics, and these are answered within 3 working days.
For more information, please visit: http://www.sane.org

+ Reach Out

An online mental health service providing information to young people about not only mental health issues, but also highlighting some other common topics such as sex and relationships, school, uni and study, friends and family, self identity, and bullying abuse and violence. Through fact sheets, apps & tools, interactive community forums, stories, videos, articles and use of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram), Reach Out provides accessible info on where to get the help you need, when you need it.
For more information, visit http://au.reachout.com

+ Mend a friend

For those who seek help for a friend or for themselves, this is the website to go to, to get useful information, particularly relevant for those aged between 18-24 years old. It gives valuable information on how to start such a conversation with a friend, as well as providing tips on how to help in a whole range situations and issues.
For more information, visit http://www.mend-a-friend.com.

+ Headspace

This National Youth Mental Health Foundation recognizes that mental health issues affecting young Australians tend to fall between the 12-24 year old age group, and the reality is that mental health problems may be associated with drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, high suicide rates if untreated and significant health changes. Headspace provides info and help for young people, run by young people. It does this through several channels:
40 headspace Centres across Australia provides face to face support
o Closest to Adelaide Uni is headspace Woodville. Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Address: 888 Port Road, Woodville, SA, 5011
Phone: (08) 8423 7900 email: headspacewoodville@cahml.org.au
eheadspace is for those who prefer to talk about their problems via online chat, email or the phone. Visit https://www.eheadspace.org.au/
For more information, visit http://www.headspace.org.au.

+ Lifeline

Lifeline is a national charity providing 24hour personal crisis support and suicide prevention services. Callers may use this hotline to express suicidal thoughts or attempts, anxiety or stresses, depression, loneliness, abuse or trauma and for self-help information.
Available 24/7 Phone: 13 11 14
Lifeline Online Crisis Supporter uses real time ‘chat’ technology to offer short-term support for people who are overwhelmed and having difficulty coping or staying safe. This is a judgment–free and confidential conversation available between 7pm-4am (AEDT) for 7 days a week.
For more information, please check out the following websites:

+ Mental health awareness

Mental Health Week is an annual, national event held from 5-12 October, with aims to increase the community’s awareness and knowledge regarding mental health. South Australia celebrates Mental Health week with awards, free events, performances, stalls, discussions etc every year in order to spread the knowledge that mental health is relevant to everyone.