We all have good days and bad days, but then there are the ‘other’ days, the ones that make even the smallest tasks — getting out of bed, putting on your shoes — feel as though you’re climbing Mt Everest in a blizzard.
Today is RU Ok? Day — a national campaign about suicide prevention and a reminder to everyone to ask each other, “Are you ok?”
Five ways to support your friends
Victoria University’s Dr Glen Hosking (Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology) suggests five ways to support someone struggling with mental health.
- Take the time to listen Don’t brush them off, think they just want attention, or invalidate what they are saying. Listen, and take what they say seriously.
- Avoid trying to solve the problem It’s best not to offer advice, solutions, things they can try, or things they could have done differently. Normalise the reaction for them.
- Help them to get help Help them to access support services like Lifeline and Crisis Line or encourage them to speak with their GP about seeing a mental health professional.
- Check in on the person A friendly follow up to check in with them and ask how they are travelling is important.
- Get debriefing if necessary Listening to someone’s problems can take its toll on the listener, so confidentially debrief with a trusted person if necessary.
Counselling & support
If you’re not feeling OK and would like support: