Shepparton News

Youth committee asks R U OK?

THIS R U OK? DAY, THE SHEPPARTON HEADSPACE YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE SPEAKS ABOUT WHAT R U OK? MEANS TO THEM, AND WHAT TO SAY AFTER YOU ASK R U OK?

- Gvhealth.org.au

With R U OK? Day yesterday, headspace Shepparton’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), took time to reflect on why we should check in with one another – and what to say after you ask R U OK?

The YAC consists of young people passionate about mental health and wellbeing, who help influence the services headspace Shepparton provides.

As part of R U OK? Day, the group wrote letters to friends to check in on how people were doing while in lockdown, and spoke about what R U OK? Day meant to them.

With Greater Shepparton’s lockdown continuing, the group said it was especially important to catch up virtually, with people feeling isolated.

“R U OK? Day is a day I get to check in on my friends because a lot of people my age are facing a rough patch, especially during these trying times,” YAC member Claire Hardy said.

“It’s a day to catch up, see how they’re going and see if I can give friendly advice – or try to make their day at least.”

“(If someone asks you R U OK?) it’s allowing you to talk about any discomfort­s with the people you trust. R U OK? Day is an important day as it gives you a chance to talk about mental health awareness. It shouldn’t be left to one day – but it certainly is a start,” Liam Callaghan said.

As well as asking the question, it’s important to know how to keep the conversati­on going.

“It’s about opening up that conversati­on so people don’t feel as though they have to keep things locked inside and it helps people to know they can speak up,” Kyla Whittaker said.

“It’s a good way to educate people on where they can go when they need help and who they can go to.

“Even just sitting down with someone and giving them a bit of a break and a chance to get away from everything can help. It’s good to think about self-care with R U OK? Day too.”

“It’s important to see how people are doing, really listen and make sure there is a support system around them to help with whatever concern they may have,” Brittany Barnard said.

Headspace Shepparton community awareness coordinato­r Naynika Bagrecha said R U OK? Day helped prompt people to check in with others who are, or used to be, a part of their lives.

“The question R U OK? is very important, not just for R U OK? Day. We’re living in really difficult times right now and it may be worth even reaching out to people you may not have heard from in years, months or weeks,” she said.

“It’s a question that we should be asking everyone around us. It’s not only important to ask R U OK? but to ask if people are REALLY okay. Listen with an

open mind. Try encouragin­g action and keep checking in. Your ongoing care and support can make a difference.

“It’s a brilliant initiative for us to get the conversati­on going. Just checking up on people; especially now is crucial. It’s a conversati­on which can save a life. Check up on your family and friends and if you think they may need external help, please reach out to services like headspace.”

For more informatio­n about R U OK? Day and resources to help you start a conversati­on about if someone is okay, visit ruok.org.au

To contact headspace Shepparton call 03 5823 8800 or email headspace@

 ??  ?? Claire Hardy, Liam Callaghan, headspace Shepparton’s Naynika Bagrecha, Kyla Whittaker and Brittany Barnard.
Claire Hardy, Liam Callaghan, headspace Shepparton’s Naynika Bagrecha, Kyla Whittaker and Brittany Barnard.
 ??  ?? Claire Hardy and Kyla Whittaker.
Claire Hardy and Kyla Whittaker.

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