NOT-FOR-PROFIT mental health organisation R U OK? visited the Hobart Showgrounds recently to deliver its ‘Trust the Signs’ tour, encouraging people to have a conversation if they’re worried about someone.
As part of its national tour, R U OK? visited 24 regional towns and communities, including Glenorchy, based on research that found nearly two-thirds of Australians are not confident they know the signs that someone might be struggling with life.
“We called on Australians to look out for the signs that someone might be struggling with life, so we asked people to consider what someone might be saying, what someone might be doing and what’s happening in their life,” R U OK? chief executive officer Katherine Newton said.
“It’s about stopping small things becoming big things.
“If we spot a change in behaviour in loved ones or notice whether they are behaving out of the norm, trust your gut instinct, trust the signs, and offer support.”
Representatives from the Glenorchy City Council’s youth programs attended the event, along with support services including Lifeline and Beyond Blue to talk about the local effort.
Locals who attended the event had the chance to talk to R U OK? representatives while enjoying a barbecue and entertainment.
“Feedback was that it was needed within the community and that the challenges are there not only as humans, but also struggles within the community in terms of environmental and economic factors – discussion that it is important to have a conversation because we all go through this stuff,” Ms Newton said.
“Events like this normalise conversation and it gives people great confidence to reach out.”
Ms Newton said there were four steps to navigating a conversation when asking if someone was okay.
These were to ask genuinely, listen with an open mind, encourage action and check in often, because these troubles and concerns often don’t go away overnight.
“You can always listen and help people find a pathway to support,” Ms Newton said.
For more information, visit www.ruok.org.au.
Caption: R U OK? visited the Glenorchy community to encourage people to trust the signs and have a conversation if they’re worried about someone.