Council is encouraging the Central Coast community to ask their friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours “Are you ok?” ahead of R U OK? Day on Thursday 8 September.
With nearly half of all Australians expected to experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and the Central Coast holding one of the highest rates of suicide in comparison to other health districts across NSW, Council urges people take the time to ask, listen and refer someone who is struggling with their mental health before it becomes more serious.
Council Director Community and Recreation Services, Melanie Smith said the National suicide prevention initiative is a reminder for everyone to reach out to someone who is struggling with life.
“There is no denying the last year has been challenging for many people in our community. It’s now more important than ever to initiate meaningful connections and conversations with our loved ones and wider networks.’ Ms Smith said.
“It’s often the people around us that can best help us navigate through life’s ups and downs, and one simple conversation really can save a life. Anyone can do it, and it’s proven to make a difference.”
“The Central Coast community is a caring and resilient community and this R U OK? Day we are asking Coasties to keep an eye out for each other and check in with their friends, family, colleagues or neighbours and ask – are you really ok?”
Council Administrator, Rik Hart said the Central Coast is known for its strong community spirit.
“Council is committed to strengthening our community and recognises that using our voices to help address social and health issues that impact our residents is just one of the ways we can do this.”
“I encourage everyone to ask, listen, encourage action and to check in on those around you, and learn to understand the importance of initiating meaningful conversations for R U OK? Day and beyond”.
Central Coast Council has placed banners on The Entrance and Brian McGowan Bridges to support R U OK? Day, and offer community members the opportunity to collect free R U OK? Day merchandise at all Customer Service centres and libraries. This includes a bamboo wristband, and a helpful pocket guide for how to meaningfully connect with and listen to others.
For more information on how you can make a difference, search ‘R U OK’ at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
If your mental health is at a crisis point and you need someone to talk to, or you know someone that is, contact Lifeline for immediate support on 13 11 14 or call 000 if a life is in danger.