R U OK – Talking to your mates about mental health

The residents and staff at Latitude One got into the spirit of R U OK Day Russell and Diann Keane, Beverly O’Neill, Stephen and Raylene Finney, Di and Mal McKissock.

 

THERE’s more to it than asking “R U OK?”

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R U OK day is the day when we are encouraged to check in on our mates.

But asking the question means you have to be ready to hear that someone is not OK.

Each and every one of us has more happening this year due to COVID-19 and more of us will feel at times that things are not OK.

In our community we have families separated by closed state borders.

We have servicemen and women away from their families deployed overseas.

We have a vulnerable population of elderly.

Our children have not had a normal year at school and this is particularly hard for those students sitting their HSC after a year of interrupted studies.

A year ago we lived with much more confidence, the economy was strong, life was good pre COVID-19.

Now we live with a level of uncertainty.

Is my job or income secure?

Will we get a vaccine?

When will the borders open domestically and internationally?

How will Australia and China trade with each other in the future?

What new markets will we open to fill the gap that tensions with China are creating?

There are so many questions and at this stage not many answers.

This makes knowing how to respond to a negative response to R U OK even more important.

R U OK’s 2019 national omnibus survey revealed that approximately two-thirds of people (63%) are not confident they know the signs that someone might be struggling with life.

It also showed that 41% hadn’t asked someone if they were OK because they weren’t sure they knew the signs.

At Latitude One residents celebrated R U OK Day in yellow, the colour of hope.

Felicity Hamilton of Latitude One told News Of The Area, “Some of the residents here have not seen family this year and we wanted to shine the light so we held a BBQ to recognise R U OK Day.

“We are not just the management here, we are always here ready to listen and support the Latitude One community,” she said.

The signs appear in what people are saying, doing and what is happening in their life.

If you think someone is not OK, start a conversation, take the time to listen and importantly encourage action.

If you  or a loved one need immediate support, Lifeline can provide a listening ear and telephone crisis support 24/7 on 13 11 14.

If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others, seek immediate assistance by calling Triple Zero (000).

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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