Check in on loved-ones this R U OK Day?

Those closest to you won’t always tell you if they’re struggling.

R U OK? Day is on Thursday 9 September and is a reminder to make asking this simple question – Are you OK? – a part of your everyday conversation with loved-ones.

Maroondah Council is encouraging all community members to reach out to those around them and seek to create meaningful, ongoing connections related to wellbeing.

Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Kylie Sears, said the day is even more important this year, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We are very keen to see our community reach out and support each other during these challenging times. We’ve all sacrificed so much and that can come at a price,” Cr Spears said.

“While it can be hard to start these difficult conversations, it is really important they take place”.

“The most important act, though, is to listen. Remember, if they don’t want to talk, let them know you’re here for them when they’re ready, or suggest they talk with someone else they’re comfortable with such as a close friend or their local doctor.”

Questions you may consider asking, include:

  • I haven’t seen much of you lately, is everything going OK?
  • So, how are you travelling these days?
  • You’ve seemed a bit tired lately, how are things going?

Look out for changes in what they’re saying or expressing, such as sounding confused or irrational. Perhaps they may share feelings of loneliness or being a burden to others. The earlier you provide a chance for someone to open up, the sooner they can find appropriate support.

For more resources, visit the R U OK website

Crisis helplines are readily available, too. If you are concerned about someone or finding the conversation difficult, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, for immediate support and advice.

If you believe their life is in immediate danger, call triple-0 (Australia only).

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