Today, 9th September, is RUOK? Day. This has been a year harder than most given the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the associated extended lockdowns.
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District has the third highest suicide rate in NSW. It has never been more important to ask ‘R U OK?’
Local help has arrived for the Hilltops, with Wellways Australia receiving part of $8 million of state government funding to prevent suicides among high-risk groups.
Federal Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack said a simple conversation could save a life.
“During these challenging times of COVID lockdowns, it is more important than ever that we reach out to others to ask: RUOK?,” Mr McCormack said.
“Just starting a conversation with someone could make the world of difference, not just on RUOK? Day, but every day.”
The pandemic has affected everyone in some way and we all need to actively seek ways to connect, and in some cases reconnect, with those in our world who might be struggling.
Mr McCormack said one suicide is one too many, so we all need to do what we can to ensure our friends, family and our fellow community members know they are loved and they are supported.
“It is important we continue to talk about our mental health to help reduce the stigma, particularly in regional and remote areas where, in the past, these types of conversations never took place,” he said.
R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity, aiming to inspire and empower meaningful connection.
If you or anyone needs help, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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