Today is R U OK? Day, a national mental health awareness day, which encourages friends, family and colleagues to reach out to anyone who might be struggling.
With the challenges brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. It is important, now more than ever for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, to be willing to support those around us.
Asking the simple question of "R U OK?" can open the doors to a conversation, which can have the power to make a huge difference to anyone who might be experiencing mental illness.
For people with disability, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be a particularly difficult time due to; fear and uncertainty, increased social isolation and financial difficulty and difficulty accessing basic supplies, treatment and support.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends that people with disability manage their mental health during this uncertain time, by:
- Keeping informed to ease fear and uncertainty, and only getting information from a reputable source such as the DHHS page.
- Continuing their supports wherever possible, particularly those related to mental health.
- Contacting the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 (available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm) for access to information and referrals for people who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19), including access to counselling.
- Contacting the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 available 24/7 or online chat (3pm–12am, 7 days a week).
- Remaining connected with friends and family members and seek out peer support groups.
Whether it is in the workplace, home or community, today is a great opportunity to slow down and take some time to ask the people around you "R U OK?".
Find out more about R U OK Day.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or chat online.
Have something on your mind? You can reach out to BeyondBlue at 1300 22 4636 or chat online.