Health R U OK Day: If you’re struggling inside, here’s how to reach out

03:52  14 september  2017
03:52  14 september  2017 Source:   9Coach

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How to Ask. If you notice someone who might be struggling start a conversation using these 4 steps: 1. Ask R U OK ? You ' re invited to join R U OK Day and Health Play for a performance of ' Out of the Blue', a play by Stig Wemyss.

Share away and remember to reach out ! Say how you feel out loud. Try to judge less harshly. Heidi Anderson chats with Taylor ahead of R U OK Day . — You can hear Heidi Anderson this morning on hit92.9 FM’ s Breakfast with Heidi, Will & Woody.

  R U OK Day: If you’re struggling inside, here’s how to reach out © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdSomeone struggling on the inside might not always look like they’re struggling.

While some living with mental health issues might become withdrawn, or restless, or just not like themselves — others might not change at all on the outside.

It’s distressing to acknowledge there’s no sure-fire way to gauge how friends or family are faring just by looking at them. But it highlights the importance of initiatives like R U OK?, the suicide prevention charity encouraging Australians to check in with their loved ones.

Dain Heer, R U OK? ambassador and co-creator of Access Consciousness, knows firsthand that clash between the outward and inward selves.

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GET INVOLVED > How to Ask - Join R U OK ? DAY - Everyday Resources - Host an Event - Volunteer - Donate. If you ’ re a teacher, check out ReachOut .com Professionals for additional information and ideas. For teachers and youth workers - be sure to explore Black Dog' s Youth Programs.

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“Seventeen years ago when I was contemplating suicide, no one knew what I was going through,” he tells Coach. “This is why I love the idea of R U OK? Day, because it gives people the freedom to talk about it and seek help.”

Asking someone if they’re okay is a pretty terrifying prospect — because what are you supposed to do if they say no?

But having that conversation isn’t about saying all the right things, or “fixing” someone who’s struggling. According to Heer, you only need to let them know “you’re there for them and to let them know you care”.

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Find tips to help you reach out to a mate at www.ruok.org.au/ how - to -ask. Liptember and R U OK ? will work together to fund social outcomes that empower women as help-givers, providing guidance on how to have a meaningful conversation with someone who’ s struggling .

Find tips to help you reach out to a mate at www.ruok.org.au/ how - to -ask. Liptember and R U OK ? will work together to fund social outcomes that empower women as help-givers, providing guidance on how to have a meaningful conversation with someone who’ s struggling .

“It’s so important for people to know that someone is there to listen to them without judgement and to know that they’re there to help if they require it,” he says.

R U OK?’s website offers this guide on how to start a conversation with someone and talk through all the outcomes.

How to seek help

Asking others if they’re okay is just half the equation. The other is reaching out for help if you’re finding it harder to cope with what’s going on inside your head.

A cruel symptom of many mental health issues is the overwhelming sense you have to battle through by yourself, that no one can help you or understand what you’re going through — or worse, that they don’t care.

Don’t give in to those thoughts.

“It’s important to recognise you’re not alone. There are people in the world who will listen to you and help you,” Heer says.

“When we’re in a state of depression, we tend not to see that we’re not alone and don’t realise that we’re actually surrounded by people who care about us, and want to help,” he says. “Find the people in your life who will listen with kindness and without judgement.”

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Or you could reach out to someone else you might have stumbled upon in another community. Here ' s what you should keep in mind: don't focus on reaching out to someone who has a HUGE audience. Note: If you ' re struggling to find someone in a similar position as you, what you should do is this: go

Today is R U OK ? Day and R U OK ? is calling on all Australians to reconnect with someone they’ve lost touch with, as new research from the suicide “Use today as an opportunity to start a conversation with someone you were once close to, as well as reach out to anyone you ’ re worried about.

Heer adds that simply venting your thoughts out loud can make them easier to bear.

“Just talking through what’s going on in your life, to another person, can be so freeing and release the trauma and stress around the situation,” he says.

Even if there’s no one close at hand you can talk to, there are other steps you can take if you’re feeling overwhelmed or lost or hopeless.

“Suicide hotlines, which are available around the world, are an important immediate step,” Heer says.

Examples include Lifeline (13 11 14), SANE Australia’s helpline (1800 18 72 63), and beyondblue’s support service line (1300 22 46 36).

“Another immediate step is to pick up your phone and record everything that’s going on. Sometimes just talking about it can begin the process of release,” he suggests. “Or you can sit down and write out everything that’s going on for you and everything you’re confused about.”

Exercise, or even any kind of physical activity, is also a proven weapon against mental health issues.

“Go for a walk or a jog, just get your body moving for at least 20-30 minutes,” Heer says. “That can start to change the physiology of what’ going on and start endorphins running, and you’ll start to actually feel good again.”

He believes any of these strategies can put your mind on a more positive track.

“All you really need is a change in perspective and the recognition that it doesn’t have to be this way forever.”

R U OK? Day is on Thursday, September 14, 2017. If you need additional support, talk to a GP or health professional.

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