News / Community / Education / 9th September 2020
“R U OK?” A conversation could save a life!
Today, Thursday, 10 September, marks R U OK? Day, running in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day. R U OK? Day is Australia’s national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that every day is the day to ask, “Are you okay?” and support those struggling with life’s ups and downs.
In light of COVID-19, 2020 has been especially challenging for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support others.
Supporting R U OK Day, Western NSW Local Health District is urging everyone to feel comfortable and confident to make every day a day to ask “are you okay”?
“You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time, you just need to be there, be able to listen without judgement, and take the time to follow up,” director of mental health, drug and alcohol, Jason Crisp said.
“We have recently been through challenging times from drought, bushfires and a pandemic.
“It is important more than ever to check in with those around you and see if they’re struggling with life’s ups and downs.
“We want everyone to feel confident they know the signs someone might need support by listening to what they’re saying, seeing what they’re doing or knowing what’s going on in their life.
Mr Crisp said whenever you notice a change, no matter how small, trust your gut and start an R U OK? conversation.
“By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up,” he said.
“If they say they are not okay, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are okay, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.”
Starting an R U OK? conversation? Use these foursteps:
1. Ask R U OK?
3. Encourage action.
4. Check in.
Local support is available through the Yarn Support Connect - Coonabarabran Suicide Prevention Network for those who need an “ear” to listen to.
This network consists of a group of locals working to help every member of the community to become confident in being able to listen without judgement, and how to offer and implement information about suicide prevention.
“September 10 is International Suicide Prevention Day - but we know that every day you offer a smile, offer to help, get together with others in the community and turn outwards, is a suicide prevention day,” said a spokesperson for Yarn, Support, Connect.
“Smile and offer a hand and help someone stay connected to life.”
Anyone with concerns about their mental health or that of a friend or loved one should call the Mental Health Line on free call 1800 011 511 or contact their GP. If you are in crisis please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information regarding R U OK? Day visit www.ruokday.com.au.