Thursday 11th September was R U OK Day. I was honoured to be able to speak at the Prince Alfred Park opening this year. The health and wellbeing of our people and communities is why I decided to run for Council so it is an issue close to my heart. Six Australians die every day from suicide. As a community we need to do better for those who are struggling.
As a survivor of depression I understand the difficulties people face in asking for help. Although depression can be a complex condition to treat, creating a kinder, more understanding environment can help sufferers take the first step. Many of us have concerns for those around us but feel that we don’t have the answers. R U OK day is about the importance of starting the conversation. It is so important that we check in with those around us.
For those of us that don’t feel confident to start the conversation the team from R U OK day have some great resources to help: https://www.ruok.org.au/inspire-conversations. This year they have launched Conversation Mate where you can sign up to receive emails which will support you to have these important conversations.
For anyone out there that feels that they are struggling there is a wealth of support available. Aside from accessing mental health support through your GP there are a number of other organisations such as lifeline and beyondblue that can provide crisis support and pathways to treatment.
Importantly, however, good mental health begins in the community. Healthy communities provide space where people who are struggling can feel supported and connected. With our busy lives it is more important than ever to take time to connect with those around us. Not only to support others but to enrich our own lives too.