News / Featured / Community / Education / 9th September 2021
Are they really okay this R U OK? Day
Checking in on a mate is as simple as 1, 2, 3 and 4!
Today, Thursday, 9 September is R U OK? Day, a national day of action aimed at helping to protect all Australians against the risk of suicide.
Current statistics published by Lifeline show that nine people every day, double the national road toll, are lost to suicide.
Lifeline also report that while suicide remains the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44, people in rural populations are also two times more likely to die by suicide than the rest of Australia, while the suicide rate among Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples is also double that of their non-Indigenous counterparts.
These hugely troubling facts remain the ongoing fuel behind National R U OK? Day, a day that encourages all Australians to check in on one another, offer support, and start a potential life-saving conversation.
“We know that all people who die by suicide share key feelings of isolation, disconnection and the sense of being a burden,” said local R U OK? community ambassador, Celeste Cannell.
“So when we make a point of connecting with each other and looking out for each other on a daily basis, we maintain and support a sense of connection to one another that ultimately helps to save lives.”
The team at RUOK? is keen to highlight that you do not need tobeanexpertora counsellor in order to get involved and that you also don’t need to have all the answers when someone you ask may reveal that they are, in fact, struggling.
The R U OK? website provides an abundance of tools, resources and guides to help support R U OK? conversations, but at the forefront are four simple steps:
3. Encourage Action
While we are all familiar with the first step of “Ask”, it is important that we also familiarise ourselves with the other three steps too, which encourage us to “Listen” without judgement, “Encourage Action” through encouraging people to seek support from their GP or from community mental health support services and, importantly,
“Check” back in regularly to make sure that people who are struggling, do in fact seek the help and support they need to stay safe.
Apart from just highlighting the steps, the R U OK? website also carefully walks people through each of the steps in detail, looking at different ways to ask the question, things not to say to someone who is struggling with life and also providing valuable information about places and services where people who are struggling can get more support.
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