Headspace Shepparton is encouraging all people to reach out to one another today and ask this question for the fifth national R U OK? Day.By Rhiannon Gavalakis
‘‘Are you okay?’’
It is a simple question that can have a big impact.
Headspace Shepparton is encouraging all people to reach out to one another today and ask this question for the fifth national R U OK? Day.
‘‘Sometimes people put a brave face on, but we all need help sometimes,’’ Headspace Shepparton general manager Caroline French said.
‘‘Part of looking after ourselves is to acknowledge when we need support.’’
Ms French said social connections were a protective factor when it came to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
‘‘If a person knows that someone cares and has their back, they feel supported,’’ she said.
‘‘When people aren’t travelling to well they can become withdrawn and that is also when they disconnect, therefore people are less likely to be picking up on things.’’
She said this was part of the reason why it was important to check in regularly with family and friends, to ensure they are okay and know they are not alone.
‘‘I think the key is about listening, it isn’t necessarily helpful for someone to start jumping and trying to solve someone’s concerns,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s really about giving someone permission to say how they are feeling without interrupting them.’’
Ms French said creating awareness of mental health issues and the services available to help in Shepparton was also important.
‘‘We’re of the belief that it is better to seek help early, it makes it easier to get back on track,’’ she said.
‘‘The longer you leave mental health issues, the more disruptive they become to your life and relationships.’’
Headspace Shepparton youth worker Peter Bonnes encouraged everyone from parents to students, teachers and employers to get involved on the day.
‘‘Everybody needs support and somebody to check they’re okay,’’ Mr Bonnes said.
Headspace Shepparton opened in June this year and is a mental health service for people aged 12 to 25 years old and their families.
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