Gippsland Lakes Commmunity Health (GLCH) is urging locals to reconnect with someone they’ve lost touch with tomorrow on R U OK? Day.
“R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create a world where everyone is connected and is protected from suicide,” explained Leah McFadzean, Acting Chief Executive Officer at GLCH. “R U OK?Day is its national day of action and a reminder for people to have conversations any day someone is struggling.”
To help understand how important suicide prevention is, about eight people take their own lives every day in Australia; 65,000 people attempt suicide each year; and suicide is the biggest killer of Australians under 44 years (Men account for around 75 per cent of all suicide deaths).
Staying connected and having meaningful conversations is something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert – just a great mate and a good listener. So, if you notice someone who might be struggling – start a conversation.
“Conversations help people feel supported and cared for and connected, and do make a difference,” Ms McFadzean said. “When friends and family show tolerance and understanding, it can make it easier for people to speak up, access help if needed, and access it early.”
GLCH offer counselling and support services to people experiencing a range of issues such as grief, depression, anxiety, and family and relationships problems. Talking things through with a counsellor may help you become clearer about what you want to do, find new ways of dealing with your problems or help you feel more in control of your life.
GLCH are also committed to the wellbeing of their staff. “GLCH has been part of the Victorian Government’s Workplace Achievement Program since the beginning of 2015,” said Ms McFadzean. “The program aims to create a positive, healthy workplace culture, increase employee morale and improve productivity. We have a team of representatives from across the agency who have created a number of successful wellbeing initiatives including healthy food pantries at our larger sites in Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale where staff can grab a piece of fruit or other healthy snack for a subsidised price; tai chi and art therapy classes offered outside of work hours; and more recently lunch time POP UP African drumming, and meditation and mindfulness sessions.”
Whether at work or home please connect with someone and ask them RU OK? Never underestimate how supportive and helpful that very small question can be.
To find out more about R U OK? And RU OK?Day visit www.ruok.org.au
Pictured L to R: Acting Chief Executive Officer, Leah McFadzean with some members of the Gippsland Lakes Complete Health’s Health and Wellbeing Team including Allison Ferreira, Andrea Farley, Gill Wheeler, Leanne Stedman and Angela Ellis.