Welcome to this issue of Your Voice, the newsletter for communities and community services on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.
Tomorrow (10th September) is R U OK?Day 2020, a day for Australians to remind ourselves that every day is a good day to ask someone “Are you OK?”, especially if you think someone you know is struggling with the ups and downs of daily life.
Eight Australians die every day by suicide. R U OK?Day is a national day of action which aims to prevent suicide across the country, and encourage us all to connect with people we care about and help prevent small problems from turning in to big ones.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and (for those who are able) be willing to support those around us. If you find that something is not quite right with someone in your circle, whether it be a friend, family member or colleague, don’t be afraid to ask them “Are you OK?”
When someone says they’re not OK, then follow the four steps below for supporting people. These conversations could change, or even save, a person’s life.
Step One: Ask
All conversations start with the key question “Are you OK?”
Step Two: Listen
Use active listening to understand the individual and their current situation. Show empathy and be prepared for what they might say.
Step Three: Encourage Action
Encourage the individual to seek help, this might be from their GP, an immediate support service, or another organisation.
Some useful resources for this include:
Black Dog Institute
Step Four: Check In
Give the individual some space, but ensure you check back in to see if they need anything else from you in the future. Schedule a time in your diary to check in, e.g. in two weeks.
So tomorrow, on September 10th, let’s take a moment to show kindness to those around us, and make others aware that every day is a good day to ask someone “Are you OK?”
For more information and resources around the R U OK?Day initiative visit: ruok.org.au
I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter. As always it is packed full of useful information and resources.
Until next time…
Acting LAC Regional Manager