IF YOU take the time to ask someone if they are okay you could make a big difference to their life or even save it, according to Orange’s mental health team.
Today in Post Office Lane, director of mental health drug and alcohol service with western NSW local health district Dr Russell Roberts and a team of mental health professionals will be spreading the word in the main street to look out for mates, family and friends.
“We want people in our community to take a moment to check in with someone and ask, ‘Are you okay?’,” Dr Roberts said.
“That conversation could change a life.”
Dr Roberts said today was national R U OK? Day and highlights that regular connection with family, friends and peers can help build a stronger and more resilient community.
“You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time, you just need to be there, be able to listen without judgement and take the time to follow up,” Dr Russell said.
He said it was common to feel alone and isolated when going through difficult times and asking after someone’s welfare is the first step to them getting support.
Today members of the public are invited to find out more about the national campaign through a joint promotion organised by Orange City Council, Gloria Jean’s, Murdi Paaki Drug and Alcohol service, Orange Suicide Prevention Network and the mental health drug and alcohol services team from the Bloomfield campus.
“We are aiming to increase public awareness and understanding about the links between connection, community, wellbeing and suicide prevention and create an opportunity to start a conversation that many find difficult to initiate,” said Dr Roberts.
The team will be at Gloria Jeans in Post Office Lane between 10am and 3pm.
If you have concerns about your mental health or that of a friend or loved one, you should call the Mental Health Line on free call 1800 011 511 or contact your general practitioner.
For further information on R U OK? Day go to www.ruokday.com.au.