#CheckYoMate is about starting conversations and removing the stigma from mental illness. This is not a solution, it is a movement.
#CheckYoMate is a day to check in with the people in your life. Check in with your coworkers, office mates, friends, colleagues and family about how they’re doing.
The conversation may go something like this:
You: Hey did you hear today is #CheckYoMate Day?
You: Well, it’s a day to check in and just see how you’re doing. You okay?
Answer: I’m good mate, thanks for checking. I’m going to go call my Mum now.
Coworking & #CheckYoMate
Over one million people now cowork around the world. As a community, we can take a stand and help make a change on December 21 with #CheckYoMate.
We picked December 21st because it’s the birthday of Bennett, a beloved member of our coworking community that suffered from mental illness. Bennett unexpectedly passed away this year and left his community wondering if they could have done more.
The movement is inspired by R U OK Day in Australia. From their website:
RUOK is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful… Conversations need to happen every day. Encourage more people to ask R U OK? in your school, workplace or community with our free resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check in on the humans in your world. Start a conversation. Ask them how they’re doing. Use the hashtag #checkyomate to help spread the word.
Liz Elam (of GCUC and Link Coworking) was distraught to learn about the pervasiveness of loneliness in our culture. She wanted to make a difference and knows that coworking helps cure loneliness. She didn’t feel she could start a global movement on her own but she felt she could help raise awareness of mental health issues through the coworking world.
Elam asked her friends, Iris Kavanagh and Cat Johnson, who were devastated by the recent death of a friend and fellow coworker suffering from mental illness, for their help. #Checkyomate is the result.
We’re not looking to raise money, we just want to raise awareness.
Bennett John Roesch, 27 was a beloved member of NextSpace Coworking for 7 years. He was a member that welcomed everyone, and often positioned himself to be the first person people would see when they entered NextSpace. Bennett’s enthusiasm for life was contagious and his smile brightened everyone’s day. Most importantly, Bennett was a seeker of truth and treated everyone he met, regardless of stature, that same, with deep respect, kindness and a yearning to know their truth. As bright as a light as Bennett shone, he also suffered from his own mental health challenges. While seeking treatment, Bennett suffered a fall, and did not survive his injuries.
Video by Emily Cohan
From the time he was nine months old, Bennett loved to climb anything that was available to him and was known by his fellow members as someone who would climb almost anywhere. Bennett loved to entertain people, especially kids, with his incredible talents for juggling and spinning fire, which he joyfully taught to anyone who was willing to learn. He spent his River Dell High School years in New Jersey and often traveled to New York City to practice juggling with world-class talents, even performing in an off-off Broadway show and many International Jugglers’ Association Festivals.
Bennett attended UCSC in Santa Cruz, where he began his next adventure. His contagious love of people, encyclopedic knowledge of information technology and willingness to patiently teach anyone who wanted to learn helped him land his “dream job” as a computer programmer at NextSpace. There, he had the opportunity to offer his free-spirited, kind, loving and caring personality to a community that welcomed and appreciated him. A truly unique creative personality, Bennett brought an original perspective to every project he was involved with. His enthusiasm, sense of humor, warmth and infectious ever-present smile, enabled him to forge friendships with people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Bennett was a catalyst for creativity and collaboration among his friends. He loved to use games to help bring people together, inventing around a dozen games in his own idiosyncratic style, such as “Sentence, Picture, Sentence.” Caught up in his own excitement, he would sometimes use these games to connect to complete strangers walking down the street, bringing smiles, laughs and interesting, impromptu conversations from many (and strange looks from some!). He loved dancing and dressing up and was an outspoken proponent of “Fancy Fridays” because everyone is always casual at a coworking space, so Fridays should be fancy! He was an avid reader and always had “the right book” to give to someone who he thought would benefit from reading it and many members have talked about the books he gifted them.
In the wake of his death, many, many wonderful people have expressed that Bennett brought a brightness into their lives and he facilitated get-togethers where he changed the way they looked at the world, their relationships and their work in life. He challenged each of us to do more, think bigger, be better, love more and “make cool stuff.” Bennett’s memorial at NextSpace was attended by 150 people, including his family, all there remembered the impact he had on their lives, even those who had only met him once.
Bennett burned brightly and touched the hearts and minds of many who knew him no matter how short or long. May his light and love be carried forward in each person whose life he touched.
R U OK? is an organization in Australia with a mission to “inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.”
R U OK? aims to:
- Boost our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life’s ups and downs
- Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others
- Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us
- Be relevant, strong and dynamic
Use the hashtag #checkyomate to spread awareness of the movement!
“Hey did you hear today is #CheckYoMate Day?”
“How have things been going with you?”
“You haven’t seemed yourself lately. Is there something you’d like to talk about?”
“What’s going on for you at the moment?”
“How are you doing? Anything you want to chat about?”
Starter tweets you can use to raise awareness
It only takes a couple of seconds #checkyomate
You’ve been meaning to catch up anyway, why not #checkyomate
We rise by lifting others #checkyomate
Happy #checkyomate day! I’ve checked in with mine, have you checked in with yours?
#checkyomate because you never know what someone is going through
Be the change #checkyomate
#checkyomate is as simple as “How are you really doing?”
#checkyomate because sometimes all someone needs to hear is “I’m here for you”
Mental Health Daily
Useful stories and links related to global mental health
Global Mental Health-Map (GMH-Map)
Collaborative project which compiles and shares important resources for global mental health
Offers mental health material (mental health websites, newsgroups, and mailing lists) and information about online support groups for people with mental disorders
Movement for Global Mental Health
Offers a platform for individuals and organizations to share ideas, initiate activities, and seek resources on mental health
A Billion Minds and Lives
Provides resources on mental health user-driven information and quality improvement tools
Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)
Makes available a range of user-friendly manuals and guidelines on social and emotional wellbeing
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network (MHPSS)
Connects people, networks and organisations for sharing resources and building knowledge related to mental health in emergency settings and situations of adversity