RUOK ? A conversation can change a life.

It’s a very sad fact that on average  8 people take their own life each day in Australia, and for each death, 30 others attempt suicide.

RUOK is a campaign to address the main risk factors of suicide:  Isolation and feeling like a burden to those around them.  The aim is to  increase our awareness of when our friends, family, co-workers or class mates are struggling, and perhaps becoming more withdrawn than normal.   It can feel uncomfortable for us to reach out, but RUOK helps by giving us simple action plan to follow.

1.      Ask RUOK ?

2.     Listen  without judgement

3.     Encourage action  e.g.   seeing a GP or counsellor.

4.     Check in.     Follow up at regular intervals to stay connected, and encourage further action.

 

NUPSA and the student services team was out and about on campus today spreading the message of RUOK, initiating converstaions  by handing out free fortune cookies to fortunate students.

Checkout the video of them in action here

Just because today is RUOK, does not mean we can’t can’t practice reaching out and asking RUOK throughout the year, today is just a reminder of how important a single conversation could be.  By reaching out you will increase your own self confidence and self esteem, and feel more connected.

We now even have a special bench outside Student Central to remind us to ask too.

Find more details about how to ask RUOK  at https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

(All photographs courtesy of NUPSA )

About the author

Rich Thorpe is a Counselling & Coaching Psychologist, and an online counsellor at Newcastle University Counselling Service. His interests include Yoga, Martial Arts, Tennis, Bushwalking and getting up way to early to watch english premier league soccer.

The material or views expressed on this Blog are those of the author and do not represent those of the University.  Please report any offensive or improper use of this Blog to RPS@newcastle.edu.au.
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