As many members of the community continue to grapple with the impact of an extended COVID-19 lockdown, Mayor of Liverpool Wendy Waller said there has never been a better time to ask the question ‘R U OK?’ ahead of this year’s national day of action.
Taking place on Thursday 9 September, this year’s R U OK? Day theme is ‘Are they really OK? Ask them today’ – a timely reminder that every day is the day to have this important conversation with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
As a former professional counsellor, and mother and grandmother, Mayor Waller said the power of these three simple words should not be underestimated.
“While everyone is feeling the emotion of lockdown, each of us are also navigating our own unique struggles,” Mayor Waller said. “Given this, and the need to be physically distant during this time, it might be tempting to bunker down and work through our struggles separately from our family, friends and colleagues – however, this might not be the most effective solution.”
“Normally on R U OK? Day we might be enjoying a cuppa with our neighbour or morning tea with work colleagues, however, we will have to rely on the power of technology to enable us to connect and have these important conversations this year.”
Mayor Waller said local councils have a responsibility to get this message out.
“Councils are often synonymous with roads, waste and parks; however, we feel our responsibility to our community runs deeper.
“Council partnered with Belgravia Leisure to bring free online exercise classes to every home in the Liverpool Local Government Area, recognising the important link between physical exercise and better mental health and wellbeing. We have also been maintaining high levels of cleanliness at our parks so residents can enjoy their daily exercise in line with COVID-19 restrictions”, Mayor Waller said.
“We have also been supporting food and emergency relief during this time, with demand for this type of support increasing as stay-at-home orders continue. Our Community Development team is working closely with Resilience NSW, OzHarvest, the NSW Police Force and 17 charities and agencies to coordinate the distribution of thousands of hampers to members of the Liverpool community.”
Mayor Waller also added that if you or someone you know needs support with their mental wellbeing, there are many services providing professional help 24 hours, seven days a week including:
- Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800