'People Need To Be Heard' - How You Can Help Someone Struggling With Mental Health
Today, there will be loads of Aussies asking their friends, families and even some strangers: 'Are you okay?'
RUOK Day has become synonymous in Australia with checking on people's mental health and seeing how they're holding up.
On the day's 10th anniversary, people across the Land Down Under are being encouraged to know the signs that someone might display if they're struggling with inner demons.
According to the organisation's research, two thirds of people don't know the symptoms of poor mental health but nearly half of those surveyed said they would definitely start a conversation with their mate or loved one if they did.
People are urged to look out for the way someone speaks, what they're doing and what's going on with their life.
If they've become confused, moody or irrational then that's a good sign they might not be okay. If someone has lost interest with something they used to love, experiences mood swings, or has become withdrawn, those are other important symptoms.
RUOK Chief Executive Katherine Newton has told LADbible: "I find the best way to enter that conversation is saying, 'Hey mate, I'm worried about you and this is what I've noticed.'
"So pointing out for them what you've noticed, that might just indicate to them, 'I didn't know I was hiding that or they might be onto me.'
"It's really important to listen and people really need to be heard, they want to be heard because quite often that's what's needed. You don't have to be an expert, you don't have to fix all their problems, but lending an ear can make a massive difference to someone who is struggling and it can really stop small things turn into big things.
"That's when you can encourage them to take on action, let them find some help, see the doctor, hop online, go to Lifeline.
"We're the best person to spot those signs and if our gut tells us something's not quite right then, because we care, it's important to ask [rather] than not to ask."
Recent figures revealed that Australia's suicide rate could jump by as much as 40 percent if prevention and services isn't ramped up.
One of the big warning signs the report by Suicide Prevention Australia highlighted was financial systems and situations that can increase mental instability like debt and buy-now-pay-later services.
So please look out for one another today and every day.
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