September 8th is R U OK Day. Nearly half of all Australians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime. Many will struggle in silence, which is why R U OK Day is such an important event on the calendar. A simple conversation can be the catalyst for many to take action in improving their mental well-being by accessing further support.
R U OK Day was established in 2009 to encourage and empower everyone to connect in a meaningfully way with the people around us to start a conversation with those who may be struggling with their mental health.
Just as important is making conversations around mental health more common as a way to combat stigma.
For the more than 700,000 Australians living with complex mental health issues, stigma can be a real barrier to accessing support. While society has a growing understanding of depression and anxiety, there remains a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice toward people with complex mental health issues.
This in turn creates stigma and discrimination. On an individual level, stigma may see a person face negative attitudes, a lack of support and understanding, and ultimately lead a lower quality of life due to social marginalisation. On a systemic level, stigma is a barrier to people being able to access support and delays meaningful mental health reform.
This year’s R U OK Day will be the first in three years where conversations can take place in person, but if you are not able to physically check in with those around us, you can still pick up the phone or have a video chat with someone you think may be struggling.
Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
1. Ask R U OK?
3. Encourage action
If you or a loved one needs additional help you can contact the below services.
- Lifeline for 24/7 crisis support 12 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
The team here at Flourish Australia can also support people to find support, which is stigma-free and recovery-focused. We can assist you in accessing support whether it be employment opportunities, peer support, help with housing or the NDIS to name a few.
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to providing help, we believe in providing support that meets people where they are on their recovery journey which will result in people reaching optimal mental health and wellbeing.
Talk to us today
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