A PHAA member
Content warning – this blog contains discussion of suicide
Today is R U OK? Day. I want to share my recent experiences and encourage people to not wait to check-in on people they know.
One recent evening while watching recordings from the Preventive Health Conference 2023, we received a message from family in the United Kingdom that one of our in-laws had passed away. They had been in and out of hospital many times for treatment of their mental health conditions.
While grieving my relative, I also thought back to what Dr Stephen Carbone CEO of Prevention United told the conference when he made the case for investment in preventative mental health. I began to reflect on how I had invested my time.
I was both sad and angry; sad at our family’s loss, and also angry with myself for not contacting my relative more often. Last year I sent them a gift, and they replied that their health was improving.
It’s R U OK? Day 2023, when we’re encouraged to ask family, friends and colleagues, how they’re going. To try having a meaningful conversation with them, and to show we care.
I wished I’d not spent so much time on my conference submission, and instead taken the time to contact my relative. I wished I’d sent them get well flowers, instead of flowers for their funeral.
Dr Carbone finished his presentation by urging us all to invest in preventive mental health. To me, that means structuring my time so I check-in on people around me. I want to know if they’re okay. You don’t know what is under people’s facades or words of assurance.
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
13 YARN – 13 92 76
RU OK? resources translated into multiple languages