Why it’s important to ask R U OK?

A simple question could improve someone’s mental health, according to the assistant director of ADF mental health programs Lisa Goldrick.

CAPTION: Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade support R U OK? Day at Lavarack Barracks, Queensland. Story by Private Jacob Joseph. Photo by Corporal Brodie Cross.

Ms Goldrick said R U OK Day on September 9 and World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 were a reminder to check on your mates and ask them if they were ok.

“This year it’s more important than ever to ask your mates ‘R U OK?’,” Ms Goldrick said.

“Isolation because of lockdowns means many people have experienced changes in their mental health and wellbeing.

“Asking ‘R U OK?’ with genuine concern, and listening with compassion and empathy, provides safety, trust and support.”

Ms Goldrick encouraged ADF personnel nationwide to review online resources to learn about mental health.

R U OK Day started in 2009 under the premise that asking about mental welfare prevents harm.

It was founded by the late Gavin Larkin after his father died by suicide.

R U OK Day and World Suicide Prevention Day resources have been developed to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to support the Defence community.

You can learn how to start a conversation about suicide and mental health wellbeing at https://www.ruok.org.au/work

Defence has a range of existing support services personnel can access:
•    Defence All-hours Support Line (ASL) – 1800 628 036
•    Defence Member and Family Helpline – 1800 624 608
•    Defence Health and Wellbeing Fighting Fit Portal
•    Mental Health Portal

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