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'R U OK DAY' held for first time in Seoul Updated: 2017-09-11 14:19:11 KST

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day
and for the first time in Korea, the Stella Foundation hosted a "R U OK" day at Korea National Sport University in southern Seoul.
R U OK is a suicide prevention charity based in Australiathat aims to inspire people to connect with others, while helping those struggling to cope with the pressures of life.

"Just think that it's a very important issue to addressand everyone should be aware of what to watch for with their family members and with their friends so that they can prevent suicide."

"R U OK DAY KOREA" offered various happiness booths where visitors could enjoy sports, take a rest, and even make new friends.
Key speakers, including an Olympic Gold medalist fencer and famous broadcaster also offered advice based on their own experiences.

"As an athlete, I pushed myself to think positively. It really helped me to overcome my problems."

"Travelling has a healing effect. It gives you courage and the chance to look at life in a whole new way."

Because researchers say a lack of sleep is one of the main causes of suicide, the Stella Foundation set up a booth where visitors can rest comfortably and even take a nap under the sun.

And as well as getting enough sleep,… it’s important to make sure you exercise regularly… as this also helps prevent depression and other psychiatric disorders.

A portion of the event was also set aside for visitors to try out different kinds of sportsincluding taekwondo, badminton, and more.

South Korea has the highest suicide rate among OECD nations.
15-thousand people end their lives each yearmeaning a person commits suicide in Korea every 38 minutes.
By coming to a country with serious issues with suicide,the Stella Foundation aims to make a difference, by providing opportunities for people to encourage each other and find meaning in their lives.
So take time to look after your own mental wellbeing and keep an eye on the people around you because a simple conversation can always make a difference.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.
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