Local event planned to mark R U OK? Day

This Thursday 10 September is R U OK? Day – a national day of action when we remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

To mark the occasion, members of the Illawarra Suicide Prevention Collaborative will be holding an R U OK? Day event at the Joyce Wheatley Community Centre from 10 am to 6 pm.

According to Louise Murphy, Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) Mental Health Services at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), there will be information stalls, and free giveaways, along with an opportunity to talk with the ‘Chats for Change’ team.

“Our Chats for Change team consists of a number of different health professionals who work in mental health, drug and alcohol, youth or Aboriginal services, as well as people with lived experience,” said Ms Murphy. “They will be available for people to speak with them about their struggles, distress and experiences following the recent suicides within our community. They will listen, support and, if necessary, connect people with support services.”

The Chat for Change team will also be at the Gerringong Bowling Club on Tuesday 15 September from 7:30 am to 11:30 am, and 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. “The team is also available to visit sporting clubs and workplaces in Kiama, Gerringong and Jamberoo on request over the next couple of months,” said Ms Murphy.

The R U OK? Day event in Kiama will also provide a chance for the local community to find out about what’s happening in suicide prevention in the region and find out how they too can get involved.

If you or someone you know needs support now, please call Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or MensLine on 1300 789 978.