The importance of R U OK? day after a year of uncertainty and lockdowns

Aussies are being urged to check on their friends and loved ones this R U OK? day, after a tumultuous year of lockdowns and restrictions.

R U Ok? day was first initiated in 2009, but this year marks the most important one yet.

With lockdowns and stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic, support from loved ones is needed now more than ever.

Image: R U OK?

Research has shown almost a quarter of Aussies (22%) don’t check in on the people around them as they don’t feel there’s been a time where someone has needed their help.But something as simple as checking in on your mates to let them know you’re there can mean the world to someone suffering in silence.

Lifeline, experienced a record number of phone calls on August 3 this year, with 3,345 calls made to the helpline service. It is a shocking number that reflects the incredibly difficult time a lot of Australians are experiencing during the lockdowns.

R U OK? chief executive Katherine Newton stated that the day is a reminder to think about what other people are really going through and to make conversation:

“In a time when so many of us are feeling plagued by the pandemic, we want to remind and reassure Australians that there is something we can all do to support those in our world, and as those closest to them we are often in a position to do so,” she said.

 Between April 2017 and 30 June 2022, the Australian Government has provided $2.1 million dollars of funding to R U OK?

Where to get help

While generating conversation around this topic is important, it’s equally integral to know what resources are available and which direction to point vulnerable people in.

The R U OK? Day website provides tips to those who are struggling.

There are also many other organisations that offer mental health services and support daily.

Black Dog Institute

website: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/


website: https://www.lifeline.org.au

phone: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue

website: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

phone: 1300 22 4636

24-hour Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Network: 1800 512 348

Suicide Call Back Service

phone: 1300 659 467

Other things that have been reported to potentially improve mental health include both learning and listening to music.