UTEP Hosts Another R U OK Event


Alberto Silva Fernandez

R U OK day booth was set up by the Dean of Students as a way of promoting mental health awareness on September 9 2021

Elisha Nunez, Contributor

As the beginning of the fall semester approaches its end, UTEP once again hosted an R U OK Event to promote  the well-being of students’ mental health. The event took place Thursday, Sept. 9 on campus and featured free stuff as well as information about suicide prevention. The  R U OK event originates from an Australian organization as a suicide prevention charity that asks people to keep connected with friends and to check on them periodically. 


According to the website for R U OK, this Australia-based charity was founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009, whose father committed suicide in 1995. After witnessing such a tragedy, Larkin decided to start this foundation, so that people can always be on the lookout for their loved ones. He was always committed to the idea that a conversation could save lives, even as Larkin tragically lost his battle with cancer in 2011. Today, the charity still assists others and informs others about how to prevent a loved one from committing suicide.  

The event was a reminder that mental health and suicide awareness are important topics for university students and other citizens to keep in mind, especially after this past year with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“What we are seeing is that at this point, it’s more risk factors. It’s young people, older people, women and men…” according to Dr. Fabrizzio Delgado, division chief for the psychiatry consult service at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, in a recent article published by El Paso Matters. “During this pandemic time, we have seen an increase all across the board.” Delgado also said he has seen an increase of more lethal methods for attempts at suicide, such as gunshots or caustic chemicals during the last few months. 

Now is a very important time for checking on our loved ones and friends to make sure that if they have any doubts or concerns, that they are heard. The R U OK event at UTEP gives people an opportunity to learn about how to approach those who’ve been conflicted with ideas of suicide and how to converse with these individuals. Not only does the R U OK event spread word for suicidal individuals, but it also makes it clear to reach out to everyone and see how they’re doing because you never know how someone feels until you talk with them. 

“Suicide prevention isn’t just for those who are depressed or going through something, but it’s also to raise awareness for others so they know to look out for each other,” said Brian Gonzalez, a 19-year-old electrical engineering major at UTEP. “After all, Miners take care of Miners.”