Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Alex McKinnon shares R U OK? Day in Penrith

Penrith City Council welcomed Alex McKinnon on R U OK? Day to share an important message around mental health and checking in on each other. 

Alex is no stranger to adversity after a tackle during an NRL game in 2014 left the then Newcastle Knights player with a devastating spinal injury. At just 22, he found himself in a situation outside his control. 

As the guest speaker at an R U OK? Day event organised by Council on Thursday, Alex shared his story of grief, strength, resilience and reinvention.   

“I’d like to thank Alex McKinnon for being so generous with his time and for sharing his personal story that touched so many people,” said Council General Manager, Warwick Winn.

“Starting a conversation can really change a life; I hope people keep reaching out to each other to check in every day by asking R U OK,” he said.

“Council is like a large community. Our teams really felt the impact of COVID lockdowns when they hit, and I know the isolation is still an issue within our workforce,” Mr Winn said. 

“We know there are people across our organisation that are suffering, who have been impacted by the floods, financial pressures or family pressures. Our teams are not immune to what is happening across the broader community, and R U OK? Day is a great chance to bring everyone together to check in and learn about what support is available and hear from people like Alex, to see life through someone else’s experience. 

“I hope that today serves as a reminder to keep check in on each other more often.”

Council has been hosting R U OK? Day events all week to reach its vast and diverse workforce, including an event at the depot earlier in the week where a guest speaker from local group Men’s Walk and Talk delivered a powerful and meaningful message.

The R U OK? Day message was also shared with parents and caregivers through Council’s 44 childcare centres and across Council’s other centres and libraries.  

To find out more about R U OK? Day please visit: www.ruok.org.au

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