Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP is encouraging local residents to start a meaningful conversation with friends, loved ones and colleagues on R U OK? Day which is today.
Mr Ward said that while R U OK Day raises awareness of how to start a conversation with someone who might be struggling, it is also a reminder that every day could be the day that changes someone’s life.
“Our friends, family members and workmates face life’s up’s and downs every day of the year,” he said.
“That is why we are encouraging our local community to ask ‘Are you ok?’ and to reach out to anyone they are worried about.
“National suicide prevention charity R U OK is working to inspire everyone to invest more time in the people around them, and give them the skills and confidence to start a conversation with anyone who might be doing it tough,” Mr Ward said.
The NSW Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies MP is urging people across NSW to be bold and ask their friends, families, colleagues, and even strangers, if they are ok.
“Starting a conversation and letting someone know you are there for them could change a life,” Mrs Davies said.
“A life lost to suicide is one too many and the NSW Government is working hard on delivering a system wide approach, which we know is required for this complex issue.”
As part of the $2.1 billion 2018/19 mental health budget, local communities are being supported to develop local responses to suicide and record funding is being provided to deliver mental health interventions to people in the community.
The budget also supports the Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy 2018-22, which will reduce the impact of mental illness by raising awareness among employers and employees, and funding evidence-informed interventions in the workplace.
If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14, or for local mental health services phone the NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.
For conversation tips and more information, please visit the website at: www.ruok.org.au.