Lo­cals make sure the black dog stays leashed

Dalby Herald - - NEWS - Sam Flana­gan Sam.Flana­gan@dal­by­her­ald.com.au

YES­TER­DAY, mil­lions of Aus­tralians asked fam­ily mem­bers, friends, neigh­bours and strangers a sim­ple ques­tion; R U OK?

It’s es­ti­mated 45% of Aus­tralians will ex­pe­ri­ence a men­tal health con­di­tion in their life­time.

This statis­tic is damn­ing, and it’s ex­actly why the R U OK Day ini­tia­tive has snow­balled into a pow­er­ful tool; a sim­ple ques­tion could po­ten­tially save a life.

A Dar­ling Downs Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice spokesman said the day was aimed at re-con­nec­tion.

“Sui­cide preven­tion is a com­plex chal­lenge and the R U OK Day or­gan­i­sa­tion sug­gests that a lack of con­nec­tion is a force at play in sui­cide risk,” the spokesman said.

“It’s this lack of con­nec­tion that R U OK Day aims to pre­vent, by in­spir­ing peo­ple to ask oth­ers if they are ok and take time to have reg­u­lar, face-to-face, mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions about life.”

The spokesman also noted the stigma around male men­tal health, par­tic­u­lar­ity in the Western Downs, is slowly less­en­ing.

“Com­pre­hen­sive lo­cal sta­tis­tics re­gard­ing men and women ac­cess­ing men­tal health ser­vices in the Dalby re­gion are not read­ily avail­able, how­ever anec­do­tally our men­tal health work­ers re­port that they see an even mix of males and fe­males.

“Our men­tal health work­ers also re­port that, anec­do­tally, it seems in­creas­ingly more ac­cept­able for men to talk about their emo­tions and seek help re­gard­ing men­tal health is­sues.”

PHOTO: FILE

TAK­ING THE TIME: Peo­ple all over the Western Downs made sure those around them were trav­el­ling okay yes­ter­day.

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