Everymind is encouraging Newcastle residents to learn the skills to start a potentially life-changing conversation, as part of the R U OK? Conversation Convoy visit to the harbour city.
The Convoy will arrive at Civic Park tomorrow morning for a special event, which will include a BBQ breakfast, live entertainment and a range of information and resources from local service providers.
Everymind Director Jaelea Skehan will also share her tips for checking in with friends and family, as well as the best places to access help.
Ms Skehan says it’s important people aren’t afraid to ask someone how they are going and to know where to seek support.
“Sometimes people are fearful of asking R U OK? because they feel ill-equipped if the answer is no. People can be even more fearful about asking if someone is thinking about suicide, in case the answer is yes.
“The truth is, you don’t need to be a trained professional or an expert to support someone going through a tough time,” Ms Skehan said.
Newcastle is stop number 20 for the Convoy, as part of its six-week, 14,000 kilometre journey around the country to promote safe and open conversations.
“This is an opportunity for us to come together and connect as a community and commit ourselves to being a community that is prepared to ask R U OK?
“The Convoy is also an opportunity to showcase the resources and services we have locally that people can tap into – in a friendly and engaging way,” Ms Skehan said.
To mark the Convoy’s arrival, LifeSpan Newcastle – managed by Everymind – is offering free online Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training to anyone who lives or works in the Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA).
“QPR online can give people the confidence to reach out when they’re worried about someone.
“By having as many people as possible ready and able to have an open conversation with someone that might not be ok, we increase the chance of connecting people to the supports they need to get through difficult times,” Ms Cotterill said.