Headspace withdraws support for RU OK? Day

Headspace withdraws support for RU OK? Day

National youth mental health foundation headspace has pulled out as a partner of awareness campaign RU OK? Day due to the involvement of the Gloria Jean’s Coffees chain, which is a major sponsor.

Headspace had been part of the national day of action to prevent suicide for the last two years and was actively involved in promoting its activities and messages through its own networks.

In a statement released this afternoon, the organisation said it was uncomfortable about the support RU OK? Day was receiving from Gloria Jean’s because of the coffee chain’s $30,000 donation to the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).

“Whilst we acknowledge the excellent work RU OK? Day and its partners have done in raising awareness about mental health issues, we have a significant level of discomfort about the relationship between RU OK? Day’s sponsor Gloria Jeans and the ACL,” the statement read.

“The recent revelations that [Gloria Jean’s] made a significant donation to the ACL in 2010 has given us cause for concern.”

The organisation said it was particularly concerned about comments from ACL managing director Jim Wallace on a range of issues, including homosexuality, refugees, equal marriage and non-Christian faiths.

“Headspace supports the right of organisations such as the ACL to free speech. However, when that free speech has the potential to harm the quality of life of young people and perpetuate bigotry, inequality, fear and violence we know we have a responsibility to stand up for the rights of those whose voices are so often unheard,” the statement continued.

“Too many young people seek help from headspace for issues caused or exacerbated by entrenched discrimination, social isolation, bullying or negative attitudes towards difference.

“It is because of this that headspace feels it has a moral and ethical duty to withdraw as a partner of RU OK? Day.”

Gloria Jean’s caused a social media backlash after it emerged the café franchise donated to the anti-gay group. It was bombarded with boycott messages on its official Facebook page and on Twitter.

The coffee chain has also been linked with the anti-gay Hillsong Church and Mercy Ministries, although it denied any connections between the Australian franchises and the church in a statement this week.

RU OK Day? has been contacted for comment.

You May Also Like

5 responses to “Headspace withdraws support for RU OK? Day”

  1. “Gloria Jeans realising that concern for suicidal people and support for Aust Christian Lobby are not compatible” When some one knowingly puts them selves into a position of being killed,that constitutes suicide.
    Matthew 20:18–19

    18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” and he did nothing to stop it but the opposite and made the choice to go to his death, and now is the idol of Christians and any outer person who thinks or ends their life is a person of low morals.

    My thoughts are to keep double standards and confusion away from my life.

  2. My understanding was that Gloria Jeans was started and owned at one stage before it was a franchise model by key figures who hold very high positions within the ministry of the Hillsong Church? Hence why the coffee chain donates back to the church and the ACL?

  3. Hi Star Observer,

    I wrote to R U OK? this week about the same matter.

    They do great work but having the hateful Gloria Jeans company as the major sponsor really undermines this important work.

    Gloria Jeans funding of the ACL won’t help LGBTQI youth live happy lives and R U OK? needs to ditch them.

    I’m still waiting to receive a reply….Jonny @ Honey Productions

  4. I’m really sorry to read this. I feel like the wrong organisation withdrew its support from RU OK? day. In a fair world it would have been Gloria Jeans realising that concern for suicidal people and support for Aust Christian Lobby are not compatible, and ending its relationship with the latter.

  5. I fully support the boycott of Gloria Jeans.
    But this feels a bit.. weird.

    How does pulling out of RU OK Day, which is a really important mental health initiative, get Gloria Jeans to stop giving money to the ACL?

    And haven’t Gloria Jeans been giving money to dodgy right-wing Christian groups for years and years? Why didn’t headspace have any problems being involved with RU OK Day previously, given Gloria Jeans has been giving RU OK Day money since at least 2009?