U.OK?: A signature project by RAC NSBM

“U.OK?” is a signature project by the Rotaract Club of National School of Business Management (RAC NSBM), which was initiated by the Rotaract year of 2020-21. This initiative is a webinar series that is focused on the mental wellbeing of the youth during the pandemic. The discussion at the webinar is based on how to deal with stress at home in order to have a winning mindset during this pandemic.

Speaking on the webinar series, RAC NSBM President Rotaractor (Rtr.) Janith Wickramasooriya said: “As an institute-based club, RAC NSBM came up with this project with the objective of making an impact in the community, especially on the youth during these uncertain times, for surviving through this pandemic which made them change their pattern of life. This webinar series gives proper guidance on how to take care of your mental wellbeing, while showing an interest in the area of physical wellbeing as well.” 

Moreover, explaining the thought process behind this project, he added: “As the President of the club, I should confirm that our thoughts were mainly on one thing, and that is, impact. How to make ‘U.OK?’ impactful to the youth; not just for the undergraduates of NSBM, but also for those who are going through the hardest of times during this pandemic. How to reach them? How to make this session more interactive?

“Mental health and wellbeing is important; it’s a big area to touch on. How can we create sessions which can impact all these areas?”

The directors came up with research on the four main topics that can be touched on and the

concept of attaching the maintenance of one’s physical wellbeing to this initiative. According to Wickramasooriya, this is the innovative factor that differentiates U.OK?.

The organising committee for the project comprises Project Leads Rtr. Andrea Fonseka and Rtr. Ishini Himansha, Vice President – Community Service Rtr. Tharushi Kuruppu, and many more enthusiastic rotaractors of NSBM.

The event was launched last year with three episodes conducted via Zoom. However, the 2021 team along with their directors and team leads of the community service avenue, expanded the project in terms of impact and scope, both virtually and physically.

The televised episodes are as follows and is available on their YouTube channel:

  • Episode 1: From Home – on “working from home”
  • Episode 2: Winning Mindset – on losing the winning

            mindset even during a pandemic

  • Episode 3: Wellbeing: Your Soul Element – on both mental and physical wellbeing
  • Episode 4: Extrovert vs. Introvert – on introverts and extroverts

“This year, the organisers are trying their level best to expand this project out of the virtual world. By initiating the ‘U.OK?’ fitness challenge, the team is trying their level best to nominate individuals and get the challenge running on the TikTok social media platform,” noted Wickramasooriya. 

The new normal is all about digitising; RAC NSBM believes that one of the greatest obstacles they faced were the technical difficulties of the youth who really needed to participate in the sessions. 

Speaking on other obstacles the organising committee had to push past, Wickramasooriya said: “Not to forget allocating and confirming speakers considering their time schedules and considering whether they are appropriate for certain topics to speak on.” 

Further, he explained: “The current main obstacle we are facing with the ‘U.OK’ fitness challenge is getting people on board, especially the youth who need to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.”

In broader terms, the target audience for the event is the youth from all backgrounds who are currently facing issues and need clarity with regard to their mental wellbeing. Further, the undergraduates who are hustling on a daily basis to achieve their goals are encouraged to join the sessions. RAC NSBM believes that mental health wellbeing is a topic that needs to be widely addressed among the youth in Sri Lanka and they are striving towards it with much enthusiasm.

A participant who had attended a U.OK? session had this to say: “Thank you very much for the session; it was very engaging and after a long time I had time off to think about my mental wellbeing in a new perspective.” 

On a conclusive note, Wickramasooriya stated: “On behalf of RAC NSBM, I would like to say, the pandemic has changed our lives in different ways. The patterns have changed a lot. Now, nine-to-five working youth might be working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; this is stressful, but never

forget, you are a human and you need to take care of your own wellbeing like you try to

take care of your family or business. Mental health is a very important topic at a time like

this. Do not take it for granted. Help each other and strive as one.”

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