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2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support those around us.

R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.

Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life. Find out more about their mission here.

Chek In With Yourself 

Before you can look out for others, you need to look out for yourself. And that’s ok. If you’re not in the right headspace or you don’t think you’re the right person to have the conversation, try to think of someone else in their support network who could talk to them.

I recently had a discussion with PLC’s Lead Psychologist, Mrs Engelbrecht. She had one overwhelmingly clear message –  ‘before we check-in with those around us, we need to check-in with ourselves first’.

When you fly, the flight attendant instructs you to “put your oxygen mask on first,” before helping others. Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival? Because, if you run out of oxygen yourself, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

We can be better friends, teachers and parents if we look after ourselves first!

Keep The Conversation Going

It’s not always easy to keep the conversation going when a friend says they’re not OK, but it could change a life. ruok.org.au have released an interactive conversation roleplay video to help you learn what to say after R U OK? Click here to watch.

The first step is always to listen and try avoid saying things such as, ‘I know what you’re going through’, instead, opt for things like ‘you’re not alone’, reminding them that they don’t have to go through this on their own.

Next step is to ‘encourage action’. Sometimes, self-help strategies or talking to family and friends isn’t enough, and this is OK. There are adults and professionals who can help, such as our amazing PLC Psychologists in the Lighthouse. You can find their contact details here.

-Wellbeing Captain, Erin

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