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R U OK? This simple question can help

Published: 8 September 2016

Social workers who work in mental health see R U OK Day as a great opportunity for the community to engage with friends, family and colleagues in conversations about their wellbeing, says National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers, Professor Karen Healy AM.

“Social workers are at the forefront of providing mental health supports and understand the importance of raising awareness and opening a dialogue about issues that many people find very difficult to discuss,” said Professor Healy.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that suicide is on the increase and is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44 years. Even more concerning, has been the marked increase in the number of young women and individuals aged 55-64 dying by suicide. That’s why days like R U OK? Day are so important.

Professor Healy says the AASW has continually advocated for greater resourcing of mental health support services, including information and awareness-raising initiatives.

“People access support from a wide range of services, but sometimes the most meaningful interventions are when friends and loved ones simply ask how someone is going,” Dr Healy said.

R U OK? Day is also about helping individuals, friends and loved ones access the necessary services.

“All Australians should feel like they are not alone and that there are a whole range of services and pathways available to them,” Professor Healy said.

The AASW encourages anyone seeking support to contact Lifeline 13 11 14, MensLine 1300 78 99 78, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or visit their GP.

The Australian Association of Social Workers represents over 10,000 professional social workers, many of whom work at the forefront of mental health.

To arrange an interview, please contact Emma Pegrum, Media and Marketing Manager on 02 6199 5011 or 0408 200 191

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers