September 8th is R U OK? Day. Almost eight Australians take their own lives every day. It’s a devastating statistic.
Mental health and suicide is a sensitive and nuanced topic worldwide. But as complex as the issue is, so many of us have been touched by it in our own lives. Whether it’s concerned ourselves or someone we know, this subject is too close to home to ignore. R U OK? encourages us to take the time to ask someone if they’re ok and listen as a first step to combating this epidemic.
R U OK? aims to create a conversation movement. Through the simple act of meaningful communication, we can unlock the immense power of connection. It’s here that we’ve taken a big step to helping someone in need and it can mean more to them than you’ll know.
TU: Why is this cause so important to you?
When I found out the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44 was suicide, I wanted to do anything and everything to help lower that devastating statistic. R U OK? Day is unique and doesn’t ask for money. It’s about people supporting each other. It’s one thing to give money, but it’s another to really be there for someone when they’re going through a hard time; to hear someone, to validate their feelings, or to simply listen. No one needs to face their problems alone. It’s special because it’s simple. If you have a conversation, a human interaction and show compassion – you can seriously help people from making a life or death decision. This isn’t a one-day thing, this is a 365 day a year thing – keeping the message up and letting people know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
TU: What’s some advice you can offer to someone who is struggling?
- Know it is okay not to be okay.
- Take it one day at a time.
- Be patient and be lenient on yourself.
- Make self-care a priority.
- Stop self-punishing.
- Know that you can get through it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Have strong connection points; parents, partners, select friends etc.
- Seek professional services. It’s very helpful.
TU: What’s some advice to people who know someone who might need help?
If you have a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would, maybe they aren’t themselves? Trust your gut instinct and act on it. Realise it’s better to say something and be rejected than say nothing and regret it. It could be a text, a call, a conversation– connection.
Let’s stop suicide. We can do it together. We just need to be patient and connect with each other. Get out of you and your own loop of thoughts, get off your phone and look up, listen, hear, engage and connect. Ask R U OK? It could save someone’s life. This is so serious. Let’s stop suicide. Together.
Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. We can all play a vital part. To bolster the immense impact we can all have as individuals, here are some other organizations that provide further information and support.
Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Suicide Prevention Australia https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/
Kids Helpline https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Mens Line Australia https://www.mensline.org.au/
For more information on R U OK? Day and how you can lend support, visit www.ruok.org.au