Ask the question to save a life

Staff reportersSouth Western Times
From 2016: Café 140 staff Bernadette Waru, Stephanie Vander Beken and Olivia Zoetelief asked R U OK?
Camera IconFrom 2016: Café 140 staff Bernadette Waru, Stephanie Vander Beken and Olivia Zoetelief asked R U OK? Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

A simple question can save a life.

That is the message which has been pushed by suicide prevention charity R U OK? for the past 10 years.

Each year, R U OK? Day is held during September, with the aim of reducing the number of suicides in Australia.

Today people will be asked to stop what they are doing and simply ask if someone is OK, as they hope to try to help those who are silently suffering.

Launched in 2009 by founder Gavin Larkin, the national movement encourages friends, families, loved ones and workmates to ask the question of anyone they are worried about, in a genuine and meaningful way.

According to the charity, more than half of Australians have wanted someone to ask if they are OK in the past 12 months, while 51 per cent of people asked someone if they are OK when they needed it.

R U OK? campaign director Katherine Newton said because an average of eight people a day take their own lives, there was still more work to be done.

“Each of us can be there for someone struggling with life by following R U OK?’s 4 Steps and pointing people to available help,” she said.

“Going forward, we want our statistics to reflect that the majority of Aussies are asking the question anytime they spot the signs that someone they care about is behaving out of the norm.”

R U OK? ambassadors including Steve ‘Commando’ Willis, Beau Ryan, Brett Finch, Jodhi Meares, Phil Waugh, Barry Du Bois, Annalise Braakensiek, Dan Conn, Steve Bastoni, John Schumann and many more will join the team for this special event.

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