Today is national R U OK?Day. R U OK?Day is an Australian initiative aimed at building awareness about increasing national suicide rates and the actions you can use to reach out to those at risk.
With over 2200 suicides in Australia each year and a 3-fold higher risk in males, we as a community need to band together to support those who aren't feeling OK. The main goal of R U OK?Day is to build communication with those around you. Remember that a simple conversation could give someone a reason to live.
For all those who have experienced the suicide of a loved one or for anyone who knows the feeling of having a continuous run of bad luck, we ask you to reach out to as many people as you can today. Here are some helpful conversation starters to help you out on today's mission:
- Say "hello" to your local check out chick/dude and remind them of the great job they do
- Call your mum or dad and say "thank you" for making you lunch when you were in school
- Facebook that friend you haven't visited in ages and tell them "wow" your new haircut looks great
- Text your partner just to say "hi" and wish them a great day
- Hug your brother or sister and remind them how much fun they are
- Or if you aren't conversational, smile at every person who walks by you today. Smiles are contagious and a random smile could make someone's day
Good luck on your mission and remember if you are feeling suicidal or need someone to talk to Lifeline is a completely anonymous phone helpline and can be contacted on 13 11 14 .
As a small, but necessary, side note, I think it is only right to also touch on cyber bullying, a leading cause of teenage suicides in the world. The internet is an amazing resource which has revolutionised the way everyone lives. Unfortunately, with greatness, comes evil. The evil lurks inside the people who voice their cruel and hurtful opinions. These people are truly weak and hide behind the cover of anonymity on the internet to attack innocent people. For all those who are bullying or being bullied, please watch the 2011 documentary "Bully". It has a true but tragic story line and provides great insight into the world of the bullied. For all those who witness bullying and cyber bullying, please stand up for the bullied. For every time you reach out of your comfort zone and confront the bully, you may be saving a life.