R U OK? Day urges us to open up the conversation on mental health

Lisa Nichols, R U OK? Community Ambassador (right) with R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton.

 

SELF harm prevention charity R U OK? has launched ‘Are they really OK? Ask them today’, as this year’s call to action for R U OK? Day 2021, on 9 September.

‘Are they really OK? Ask them today’, comes in response to new research* which found 22 percent of Australians aren’t reaching out to ask ‘are you OK?’ because there hasn’t been an occasion where they felt someone needed their help.

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Making it part of every day, the R U OK? charity is encouraging all Australians to consider how the people in their world are really going.

R U OK? Community Ambassador Lisa Nichols from Woopi, who lost her mum to suicide, reminds everyone that asking the question ‘are you okay?’ saves lives.

“We’re learning to talk about suicide, depression and all life’s tough moments, because the more you talk about it the easier it gets,” Lisa told News Of The Area.

“By starting these conversations, we can show people they’re loved, they’re needed and they matter.

“You could save a life,” she said.

Plans for R U OK? Day in 2021 for Woolgoolga which usually turns ‘yellow’ are a little different this year with the current lockdown restrictions, meaning no mass participation events, but plans are afoot to stay connected and check on those in your world.

Lisa is arming several local cafes with splashes of yellow and R U OK? official merchandise, encouraging locals to support their local café.

“Buy a coffee and be rewarded with some R U OK? merchandise to start a conversation,” she said.

The Woopi Wears Yellow Facebook page, which has more than 20k followers, is now active.

Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/woopiwearsyellow.

“Things may look a little different for R U OK? Day for us this year, in the physical sense, but the message remains the same,” Lisa said.

“We want everyone in our community to consider how the people in their world are really going.

“On R U OK? Day we are encouraging all of our community to take a selfie with their own sign of hope and share it on the Woopi Wears Yellow Facebook page to raise awareness on this important national day of action and remind everyone that genuine support can make a difference.”

The R U OK? website shares a practical toolkit and suggestions on how people can share the message in their community.

Visit www.ruok.org.au.

*Kantar R U OK?Day Research 2021

 

By Andrea FERRARI

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