Lifeline staff Leonie Joseph, Sue Evans, Geraldine Hoek, John Maybanks, John Hansen and Lisa King prepare to celebrate the inaugural R U OK day tomorrow.
Lifeline staff Leonie Joseph, Sue Evans, Geraldine Hoek, John Maybanks, John Hansen and Lisa King prepare to celebrate the inaugural R U OK day tomorrow.

Lifeline sends words of support

THERE are three words the team at Lifeline Coral Coast Capricorn hopes to be on the lips of every Bundaberg region resident tomorrow — are you okay?

Lifeline client services manager Janelle Waga said the inaugural national R U OK? Day was a great opportunity to see how friends, family and colleagues were travelling.

“It might be that if we are feeling overwhelmed by a high workload, talking it through with someone can help us prioritise and reorganise our approach. Also, if something is causing us to feel anxious or stressed, by sharing our thoughts and feelings, we can help put things into context,” she said.

Ms Waga said talking about problems had reduced the chances of a person at risk of suicide taking their own life.

She and Lifeline are encouraging people to take the day seriously.

“This is not a case of the usual Australian ‘how ya going mate’, which is often more a greeting than a question. This is about connecting with someone, and being genuine in your concern for them,” she said.

Ms Waga said it was important people be prepared to listen if someone close to them needed to talk about something, because a half-hearted approach was often more damaging.

She said not to worry if the conversation became too far out of their depth.

“Sometimes, conversations can become serious and people may feel the need for outside support. In this case, Lifeline can help,” Ms Waga said.

R U OK? Day was founded by the three sons of Barry Larkin, a business manager who committed suicide in 1995.

More than 2000 Australians commit suicide each year and, for every person who takes their own life, it is estimated 10 people will make an attempt.

For more information or if you need someone to talk to, telephone 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.

Six tips for talking
  • Be receptive
  • Use icebreakers to initiate conversation
  • Practise your listening skills
  • Be encouraging
  • Be helpful


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