Did you know 8 Australians took their own life yesterday? According to data published by Lifeline, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44 – and that’s something we believe needs to change.
This year, as we do every year, breakthru is pressed “pause” for R U OK? Day, the annual event held on 10 September that encourages all Australians to raise awareness about issues like suicide and mental health. We do this by getting together, having a coffee and asking each other one simple question – “Are you okay?”
What is R U OK Day about?
R U OK? Day encourages Australians to raise awareness about topics like social isolation, mental health or depression and reminds them that every day is the day to ask “Are you OK?
The overriding message we preach every year on R U OK? Day is that “A conversation could change a life”. So, if you have a feeling that someone you know or care about just isn’t themselves, seems agitated or withdrawn, then make sure you sit down and start a conversation.
If you’re worried but not sure how to approach the situation, you can read this helpful conversation starter guide here.
How can we improve mental health in Australia?
Recent studies have revealed that social isolation and loneliness are two of the biggest contributing factors to poor mental health and suicidal ideation in Australia. With 1 in 4 Australians feeling alone, that leaves close to 6.25 million people who are at risk of developing poor mental health.
As strong advocates for mental health awareness and supports, breakthru offices across Australia regularly host and celebrate events like R U OK? Day to raise awareness and offer support to those in need.
Last year we invited staff and customers to participate in a casual morning tea filled with plenty of food, coffee and heart-warming conversations. We believe it’s incredibly important for organisations and individuals alike to raise awareness about mental health, social connectedness and positive thinking. If we all come together as a community and embrace the issues we share, we can create a better, more inclusive world.
Supporting each other through COVID-19
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has forced many of us to face challenges we never thought we’d have to face before. Recent COVID studies have shown that 50% of Australians were worried about loneliness, and 62% reported raised levels of depression, anxiety and stress during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For these reasons, it’s more important now than ever before to support each other and have a conversation.
As part of our commitment to supporting our staff and customers, breakthru hosted both face to face and virtual lunches in QLD, NSW & VIC with many employees dressed in yellow in support of mental health awareness and social connectedness.
Though we made a conscious effort together for R U OK? Day, we’re always available to chat. So if you’re feeling down, depressed or out of sorts please reach out for a conversation with us today. You can also access our online SANE forum for peer support if you need it.
Where to get help
breakthru understands how much this year has impacted many Australians. If you need help, we are here to talk and can help you access the mental health services we provide across Australia. If you have an NDIS plan, we can provide support to help people with their mental health concerns and reach their personal recovery goals. These supports include:
- Counselling sessions to help manage stress, anxiety or depression
- Behavioural supports to help you manage your emotions
- Social & Community access supports to help you better connect with your local community.
If you don’t have an NDIS plan and you’re looking for mental health supports, you can also contact the following organisations for support:
If you’re in a crisis situation and need more immediate support, you can also call Lifeline or the Suicide Call Back Service for free.
For emergency situations, please dial 000.
After growing up with his younger sister Katey (who was born with Down Syndrome), Josh has witnessed first hand the barriers and misconceptions placed around people with disability. As part of the breakthru team, Josh hopes to assist people just like Katey to find the information or supports they need to live their best life.