THE annual R U OK? Day takes place this Thursday, inspiring the nation to speak out and help mates.
The Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network (SSPAN) is encouraging all Shoalhaven residents to ask the question – Are you OK? – not only tomorrow but regularly.
It is something we can all do to make a difference and bring down the rate of suicide in Australia, the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 44 years.
New research conducted by the R U OK? Foundation shows that more than 90 per cent of Australians feel they should ask friends who are struggling, “Are you OK?”, no matter how tough the conversation.
The R U OK? Foundation wants Australians to connect with anyone who might be struggling with life.
And this R U OK? Day, SSPAN would like to see the Shoalhaven lead the way in asking the question, “Are you OK?”
Start a conversation that counts with someone who might be feeling overwhelmed, lonely or stressed and be ready to give your time, show empathy, listen without judgment and help peers identify possible next steps.
Also make sure you follow up.
SSPAN chairman Bruce Murphy said such conversations can save a life.
“It can help people struggling with life – anyone can play a small but significant role in helping others,” he said.
The 2013 R U OK? Day campaign is supported by actors Simon Baker, Jack Thompson and Alex O’Loughlin and sporting legends Tom Raudonikas, Darryl Brohman, Ben Tune, Wendell Sailor and Libby Trickett.