Mental Health Minister, Tanya Davies, is today urging people across NSW to be bold and ask their friends, families, colleagues, and even strangers, if they are OK. “Starting a conversation and letting someone know you are there for them could change a life,” Mrs Davies said. Now in its eighth year, the highly successful R U OK? Day founded by the late Gavin Larkin, aims to prevent suicide by breaking down barriers to conversations about mental health, and empower people to create connections with those around them.
“If you have a feeling someone you know or care about isn’t being themselves, start a conversation, ask if they are OK, listen, encourage them to seek help and don’t forget to check-in,” Mrs Davies said. “Suicide prevention is not something that charities like R U OK? should have to tackle on their own – it is a responsibility that all of us should share.” In 2017-18 the NSW Government will spend a record $1.9 billion on mental health care, including working collaboratively with the Black Dog Institute on a pioneering model for suicide prevention called LifeSpan.
“We will continue to do everything we can to make sure our mental health professionals and community organisations get the direction, funding and support they need,” Mrs Davies said. “And most importantly, make sure that nobody in NSW has to suffer alone.”
For further information on R U OK? Day go to www.ruok.org/howtoask . For mental health assistance or referral to services in NSW call the NSW Mental Health Line 24/7 on 1800 011 511.