Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, has encouraged all Australians to reach out to others today and ask a friend, colleague or family member if they are okay.
Today is R U OK? Day, a national day of action aimed at reducing suicide by raising awareness of the issues and empowering Australians to connect with friends and loved ones.
“Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among Australia’s young people. Following Monday’s World Suicide Prevention Day, R U OK? Day is another timely reminder that we need to break the silence surrounding suicide,” Senator Wright said.
“A kind word of support, connecting with someone and giving them your time and attention can make a big difference to somebody who is feeling alone, sad or depressed. Support such as this provides people with an opportunity to talk and open up about issues affecting them, and it can help stop little problems becoming much bigger.
“Conversations such as these can change lives. I encourage all Australians to reach out to someone else and ask them if they are okay.
“Breaking the silence can be a big step towards reducing the stigma associated with suicide and mental health and can help to prevent suicide from occurring.
“Let’s make it a daily thing. I encourage all of us to make it a regular habit to check in with our family, friends and colleagues and ask how they feel.
“I also urge all Governments to address these important issues by working together to reduce the stigma associated with mental ill-health and suicide and promote wellbeing so that people feel connected and valued in their communities."