R U OK? Day is calling on Australia to take a global stance on suicide prevention. Here's how you can get involved today.
R U OK? is asking Australians to have more regular, meaningful conversations with anyone struggling with anxiety, depression or self-esteem issues.
Campaign Director Rebecca Lewis shared last year that a person dies from suicide every 40 seconds, and we should be doing as much as we can from preventing this.
"To ensure that people are protected from suicidal thoughts, we need to make a concerted and genuine effort to be there for one another and really walk in one another's shoes."
Australian Health Minister, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP suggests that meaningful conversations can help make a difference.
"We’ll all grapple with tragedy, loss, and grief through life – and many of us will also live with a mental illness,” Minister Ley said. “Regular, meaningful conversations are one way we can all support each other to cope with change, adversity and illness. If you ask; listen without judgement; encourage action; and follow up, you can make a positive difference to someone’s resilience and wellbeing.”
How you can help someone:
How do you start a conversation?
- To help a mate open up, find a time and place that works for you both
- Make sure you’re in a good headspace, so you’re not distracted or stressed
- Be prepared for a conversation with someone who says they’re not ok
- Ask them “are you ok?” or “how you going?”
- If your gut says that they’re not ok, dig a little deeper if they brush your concerns off
What do you do if someone says they’re not ok?
- Listen to what they have to say
- Don’t judge them or rush the conversation
- Encourage them to think about what they can do to feel better
- Follow up with them and regularly ask them “are you ok?”
- For more tips, visit ruok.org.au
What if someone says they’re thinking about suicide?
- For some, their struggles become too great and they need emergency or professional support to get through the tough times
- Family and friends can support them by helping them find a professional
- If you think they need immediate help, call 000
- Don’t ever use guilt or threats to stop them but instead tell them how much you care for them
- Other support lines can be found on ruok.org.au
If someone has been there for you, why not show how much you care with heartfelt note. Click here to publish your note on the R U OK? website, or post it anonymously.
If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or want someone to chat to regarding your depression, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14
Is there someone you would like to thank for always being there for you? Let us know by commenting below!