R U OK?Day Thursday, 14th September 2017

R U OK?

The national suicide prevention charity, R U OK? was founded by Gavin Larkin in collaboration with Janina Nearn after the suicide death of Gavin’s father, Barry Larkin, in 1995.

R U OK?’s vision is to have a world where each and every person is connected with others, and all are protected from suicide.

This year, R U OK?Day is being held on Thursday 14th of September. R U OK?Day is a dedicated day to reminding everyone that we are all able to ask “are you okay” and that we have what it takes to support those struggling with life.

What is the R U OK? cause?

R U OK? seeks to have people meaningfully connect with one another, in order to find out who needs help and to support those needing it through their struggles.

Mission: “Our mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life”

R U OK? Goals:

“Our goals are to:

1.   Boost our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life’s ups and downs

2.   Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others

3.   Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us

4.   Be relevant, strong, and dynamic”

More information on R U OK? and its founders can be found by clicking on the below links.

R U OK? Home:
          https://www.ruok.org.au/

R U OK? What We’re About:
          https://www.ruok.org.au/what-were-about

R U OK? Our Story:
          https://www.ruok.org.au/our-story

How do I know if someone needs support?

Over the last fortnight, have you noticed two or more of the below in any individual around you? If so, that person might need some extra support.

1.      Changes in their physical appearance?

  •        Look more tired than usual

  •        Seem “flat” or drained of energy

  •        Have had a pattern of illness or being constantly run down

  •        Are complaining of physical health issues such as headaches or migraines

  •        Are eating much more or much less than usual

  •        Are drinking more alcohol than usual

  •        Seem more fidgety and nervous than usual

2.      Changes in mood?

  •        Seem more irritable, snappy and fly off the handle when they didn’t use to

  •        Appear more anxious and worried about everything (i.e. work and personal things)

  •        React more emotionally than the situation deserves

  •        Are quick to anger

  •        Appear to be overwhelmed by tasks that they had previously found manageable

3.      Changes in behaviour?

  •        Seem more withdrawn than usual

  •        Don’t seem to enjoy hobbies/interests like they use to

  •        Seem to have difficulty concentrating or seem constantly distracted

  •        Are taking on more work to avoid being social situations with others

  •        Are not performing to their usual standard

4.      Changes in how thoughts are expressed?

  •        Communicate a tendency to catastrophise everything “It’s always terrible…”

  •      Seem to interpret situations negatively (e.g. they might conclude that two people in a        meeting at work are discussing their performance or future with the company)

  •        Personalise situations (e.g. “I knew I’d get the toughest roster – they have it in for me”)

  •        Have thoughts that sound more confused or irrational

  •        Are complaining about constant thoughts and difficulty in switching them off

How do I ask R U OK?

Getting ready to ask:

1.      Be ready

2.      Be prepared

3.      Pick your moment

For more information on the three steps to asking R U OK? click the following link:
          https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

Starting a conversation:

 1.     Ask ‘R U OK?’

2.      Listen without judgement

3.      Encourage action

4.      Follow up

For more information on how to start a conversation, please click on the following link:
          https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask 

R U OK?

If you notice anyone around you who may look as though they are not having a good day, looking upset, ask them, R U OK? It doesn’t matter whether the person is in your friendship or family circles, or just happen to be physically near you, the simplest gesture of asking R U OK? may be their ticket to seeking help, or feeling as though they have support to get through their struggles.

A point to remember is that when some people feel down, they may not show this in their facial expressions. Some people prefer to put on a happy face rather than let others know that they may not be feeling so well. Due to this, it is important that we ask others around us R U OK?, regardless of their facial expressions.

What is less confusing than the above? Ask those around you R U OK? Strike up a simple conversation and ask your peers how they are doing. It’s possible that maybe they will ask you the same question. It is a good idea to ask people this question not only on R U OK? Day, but all year round.

What do I do if someone tells me that they are NOT OK?

What to do is dependent on your peer’s unique situation, but generally you should encourage your peer to seek help. Sometimes, the conversation may be bigger or more involved than what you may be equipped to deal with. Encouragement to seek an appointment with their regular GP or with their local mental health team is a good start to returning to a positive mental state.

Should your peer reveal that they have a life-threatening emergency, or that they or another person may be in imminent risk of harm to themselves or others, you should call Triple Zero, 000.

***If you or another require urgent medical attention, or if you or another are in imminent risk of harm to yourself or others, you should call Triple Zero, 000 immediately.***

There are also other numbers available to call should the emergency is not life threatening. If your regular psychologist has not stated that they are available for emergency calls, you may want to familiarise yourself with the below numbers.

The below numbers are sourced from the Australian Government Mental Health Commission website. You can access the site and more organisations by clicking on the following links: 

          http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/get-help.aspx

          https://metrosouth.health.qld.gov.au/acute-mental-health-care

 

Emergency 000

Mental Health Organisations

1800 Respect
Ph. 1800 737 732
Sexual Assault Domestic and Family Violence

Beyond Blue
Ph. 1300 224 636
Depression, Anxiety, and related

eheadspace
Ph. 1800 650 890
Ages 12 - 25

Kids Help Line
Ph. 1800 55 1800
Ages 5 to 25

Lifeline
Ph. 13 11 14
Crisis and suicide prevention and support

Mensline
Ph. 1300 78 99 78
Men with family and relationship concerns

QLD Crisis Line
Ph. 13 432 584 (13 HEALTH)
QLD Mental Health Crisis Line

QLIFE
Ph. 1800 184 527
Support for LGBTIQ

Suicide Call Back Service
Ph. 1300 659 467
People affected by, or contemplating suicide

Hospitals

Logan Hospital
Ph. 1300 642 255 (1300 MH CALL)
Acute Mental Health Services

The Prince Charles Hospital
Ph. 1800 112 403
Acute Mental Health Services

Princess Alexandra Hospital
Ph. 1300 642 255 (1300 MH CALL)
Acute Mental Health Services

Redland Hospital
Ph. 1300 642 255 (1300 MH CALL)
Acute Mental Health Services

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
Ph. 1300 642 255
Acute Mental Health Services

Saul Edmonds