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Fears that stop the question ‘are you okay?’

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When it comes to asking the important question 'are you okay?' fear can get in the way.

Fear of the response. Fear of our inexperience on the topic of mental health. Fear of appearing to be a stickybeak.

But these concerns don't recognise the relief many people feel after they hear the question.

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Five tips for responding to someone who isn’t ‘OK’

Five tips for responding to someone who isn’t ‘OK’

It takes courage to ask simply and directly, ‘are you okay?’, if concerned about someone's mental health.

What if they’re actually fine? Will they be offended? And what do you do if they aren’t okay?

These are common concerns people have when it comes to asking a friend, colleague or loved one ‘are you okay?’. So it’s tempting to frame the question in a way that encourages a positive response, ‘you’re okay, aren’t you?’ 

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Self-care after someone discloses suicidal thoughts

Self-care after someone discloses suicidal thoughts

There are few things in the world more frightening than hearing that someone is thinking about suicide.

Even when you know you have done everything possible to support them, it’s natural to feel an unsettling sense of preoccupation and responsibility.

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Busting the myths about suicide

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Suicide is a big issue. While it only accounts for a small percentage of deaths (around 1.9%), more people lose their lives to suicide than to road accidents, industrial accidents, and homicides combined. Around 2800 Australians take their own life each year; an average of almost 8 suicides a day.

While suicide awareness and prevention has come a long way over the past decade, many myths still exist.

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What's the value of RUOK Day?

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On RUOK Day we're encouraged to check in with people around us and reduce feelings of distress or loneliness by asking the simple question ‘are you okay?’.

Simple, right? But many people doubt the benefit of this idea. It's a fair question. Is it just a fad? Does it really do any good? Can asking a question really change a life?

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Self-help if you're feeling suicidal

Self-help if you're feeling suicidal

Feeling suicidal means feeling more pain than you can cope with at the time. But remember, no problem lasts forever.

With help, you can feel better and keep yourself safe. People get through this. People who feel as badly as you feel now. So get help now. You can survive.

There are things you can do to relieve the pain and reduce the desire to end your life.

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Supporting someone having thoughts of suicide

Supporting someone having thoughts of suicide

Are you concerned someone you know is having thoughts of suicide? This can be a very distressing situation, as many people don’t know how to help.

It's common for people to think that talking about suicide increases the risk. This is not the case. This myth can stop important discussions from taking place.

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Busting the myths about grief

Busting the myths about grief

While most people recognise that loss is a normal part of life, the grief that follows is often misunderstood.

To help clear up this confusion, we’ve compiled a list of the common misconceptions held about grief.

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Four tips to help mental health services when responding to suicide bereavement

Four tips to help mental health services when responding to suicide bereavement

It is a sobering fact that suicide is one of the most common causes of premature death among people with mental illness.

Loss caused by the suicide of a loved one with mental illness has a profound effect on families and friends. The bereaved often have to deal with a range of complex emotions including confusion, despair and anger both at themselves and at mental health services.

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Five important lessons from people who have attempted suicide

Five important lessons from people who have attempted suicide

Last year I had the privilege of interviewing 31 people who had attempted suicide.

We talked about a range of issues, including the triggers that led them to feeling suicidal, support received (both helpful and unhelpful), the challenge of talking with others about their experience, and the progress they had made developing coping skills.

These interviews were the basis of Lessons for Life, a research report that highlights what helps and hinders people who attempt suicide. Throughout the process participants shared their invaluable insights into areas of critical importance, these included . . .

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