RU OK? Day has released a statement regarding the withdrawal of support from national youth mental health foundation headspace over the anti-suicide campaign’s sponsorship agreement with the Gloria Jean’s Coffees chain.
While not mentioning either headspace or Gloria Jean’s in the statement, the organisation said it specifically targeted the LGBTI community with its national awareness day on September 13.
“While we target all Australians, we also directly engage with specific at-risk groups,” the statement reads.
“This includes youth; regional and rural communities; older males; Indigenous Australians; people of refugee background; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.”
The organisation also sought to clarify that it was in no way influenced by sponsors.
“The R U OK? Foundation’s strategic direction is shaped by the Australian Government’s LIFE Framework, the advice of the mental health and suicide prevention sector, researchers and other suicide prevention experts,” it continued.
“Our sponsors fund these priorities but don’t influence them in any way.
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 last Friday, 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).
RU OK? Day was contacted directly by the Star Observer about the withdrawal of support. A representative said the statement, which was uploaded to its official Facebook page, would be its only response to the matter.