Checking in on R U OK Day

This year, more than any other, it’s okay to not feel okay. That’s the message from Western District Health Service (WDHS) ahead of this year’s RUOK Day.
WDHS psychologist Phil Wilson said the counselling service offered through the Frances Hewett Community Centre had been busy over the past few months, and supported the events central message that ‘there’s more to say after R U OK?’
Mr Wilson said while the current Stage 3 restrictions made it harder to notice when those around us were behaving out of character, it was important to keep checking in on friends, families and colleagues.
‘Try to listen without offering solutions, but if it seems to you that someone might need help, encourage them to seek that support – whether it be a trusted friend, a counsellor, their GP, or an online service.’
He added that some people who have not accessed mental health supports previously might be feeling that their problems were not serious enough to warrant professional support.
‘The pandemic will be affecting people in many different ways. Whatever it is you’re experiencing, the important thing to know is that support is available for everyone.’
Mr Wilson suggested a discussion with a GP was always a good starting point.
‘Your GP can make recommendations on the right service for you, they can provide you with a mental health plan, which provides access to subsidised sessions with a specialist, and, if necessary, they can prescribe medication.’
‘The Frances Hewett Community Centre also offers a free service for people with generalised counselling needs, such as relationship issues.’
Online help is available 24/7 through services such as Beyond Blue or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
RUOK Day takes place on Thursday 10 September.

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