National ‘R U OK?’ day was on Thursday to serve as a reminder to the community to check in and start a conversation with their friends, family and colleagues.
‘R U OK?’ day is dedicated to reminding people that any day is the day to ask someone, ‘are you okay?’ or ‘how are you travelling?’ to support those struggling.
West Coast Youth and Community Support (WCYCS), Mentally Fit EP and Lincoln Alive had an open door policy inviting anyone in the community in for cake, a chat or support on Thursday.
Chief executive officer Jo Clark said everyone was welcome to join and that the day was a chance for the community to discuss ways collectively to reduce the impact of suicide in the regions.
“We should be checking in everyday with friends, family and people we know,” she said.
“By asking people are you okay today, the suicide prevention discourse is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.”
StandBy – support after suicide and CentaCare partnered with Lincoln Fresh Fruit and Veg to also encourage people to learn about the day and start the conversation with pamphlets, coffee cups, aprons and wristbands.
StandBy coordinator Jen Snook said its services supported families after suicide, but they also played a role in preventative measures and that is why they were promoting the ‘R U OK?’ campaign.
“After someone has suicided, the local community and their family and friends are at a higher risk of suiciding,” she said.
“Asking someone how they are and how they are travelling can prevent people from taking their own lives.
“We want to encourage people to seek support and provide self support, as it’s a two pronged system.”
The national ‘R U OK?’ campaign focuses on four simple steps to help the community check in with people in their lives and to start conversations that could change a life.
The first is asking someone if they’re okay or how they are travelling. The second is to listen to the person and not judge their response.
The third is to encourage action and offer them support. The fourth step is to make time to check in, whether it’s in a week or a few days. Make sure you continue to check in to see how the person is travelling.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at www.lifeline.org.au.