Growing awareness of mental health issues and alarming youth suicide rates has meant our responsibility to check in with those around us is more important than ever.
R U OK? Day encourages all Australians to take the time to talk to their loved ones, friends and colleagues about how they are feeling.
It’s hoped that such a move could help someone struggling with depression and the pressures of everyday life to reach out and ask for help if they need it.
Every day, 8.6 Australians die by suicide – there were 3,139 deaths by suicide in Australia in 2020.
Psychiatrist Nick Glozier said we’ve all got what it takes to be there for one another – because it ultimately comes down reserving judgement and really listening to the person who is courageous enough to ask for our help.
“Once you start a conversation and a mate opens up, don’t rush in or leap to conclusions,” Professor Glozier said. “It’s important that you listen to what they have to say and guide the conversation with more open questions. Don’t try and fix their problems – or provide the answers – but help them to identify what they can do to better manage the load.”
If you are experiencing or have experienced suicidal thoughts, call Lifeline in Australia on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. Or for New Zealand, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or text HELP (4357).
For information and support visit www.beyondblue.com.au. and ruok.org.au