Suicide prevention organization R U OK?, recently launched a suite of video resources as part of their ‘Stronger Together’ campaign – encouraging First Nations people to engage and offer support to their family, friends, and colleagues who may be struggling with life.
The “I ask my mob, in my way, R U OK?” campaign includes culturally appropriate content led by community voices with guidance from the R U OK? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group and in collaboration with the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (BIMA).
Speaking with BIMA’s Let’s Talk program, Chair of the R U OK? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group, Dr Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat said the video resources showcase individuals with lived experience.
“The R U OK? Website has stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are quite powerful in their community – talking about this stuff requires a lot of courage and sharing what has happened to you and sharing your experience in a campaign like this, it reminds people, you know what it’s okay to ask somebody are you OK? and invite them in for that conversation.”
“It’s about talking to family members, someone from the community, a friend, a neighbour, a teammate,”says Dr Lee-Ah Mat.
“Nationally, Indigenous people die from suicide at twice the rate of non-Indigenous people. We know that starting conversations early can stop little problems growing into big ones. We need our mob to ask the question, their way.”
Steven Satour is a Pitjantjatjara,Yankunytjatjara and Pertame man from Central Australia and the Stronger Together Campaign Manager at R U OK? he says the resources give us the opportunity to get conversations started with individuals, organisations, and communities across Australia.
“We’re also working with Aboriginal medical services across the country to get the kit out there, we’ve got a whole range of posters, videos, and conversation guide that helps give you more confidence in how to have an, are you OK? conversation.”
Mr Satour said there’s an easy four steps to remember, “number one, ask the question. Number two, listen, which is really important. Number three, encourage action – whether that’s going to speak to an Aunty, an Uncle, a Nanna, a Pop, going to your Aboriginal Medical Service, the healing centre. And number four, checking back in – so even though you might have had that conversation, just check back in with them and see how they’re doing with whatever it may be.”
The FREE Stronger Together community resources are available here.
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