September is the month dedicated to mental health awareness and today is R U OK? Day. Hall Consulting Group has had an ongoing presence in the mental health community over the years with one of our achievements being our HCG Elephant Fund to raise money for Batyr who run programs at schools and workplaces to teach kids and adults about mental health, its vital importance and how to reach out for help.
The role of small business advisers is more than just providing guidance on accounts, assets and debt, it is about people and their journey. As trusted advisers working with businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19, financial stress and isolation, there is no better time than now to start a conversation with “R U OK?” and reach out to our clients, colleagues and friends, be vigilant in looking out for the signs of mental ill health and continue to learn how we can offer support.
Depression and mental health has risen by 8% since March. This simple three words question can make such a difference to someone in distress and prompts them to seek mental health support and help. The pure fact that someone cares can be enough to give someone struggling a hope to carry on.
If you are worried about a loved one watch out for these signs:
- Experiencing mood swings
- Becoming withdrawn
- Changing their online behavior
- Losing interest in what they used to love
- Unable to concentrate
- Behaving recklessly
- Less interested in their appearance and personal hygiene
- Changing their sleep patterns
Don’t know how to go about the conversation? Try these conversation tips by RUOK.org
You can download the conversation guide : R U OK – Converstion Guide
Encourage action and offer support:
- “How can I help?”
- “What would help take the pressure off?”
- “What do you enjoy doing? Making time for that can really help.”
- “Have you thought about seeing your doctor?”
- “I’m always here if you want to chat.”
- “Have you been feeling this way for a while?”
- “I think it’s time to link in with someone who can support you. I can help you find the right person to talk to.”
- “You’re not alone. We can figure this out together”
- “Who’s a person you trust? I would like to call them so we can both help.”
Make time to check in:
- “Let’s chat again next week.”
- Lifelineprovides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.
- Mens Line Australiais a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.
- Suicide Call Back Serviceprovides 24/7 support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal. Call 1300 659 467.
- QLifeprovides nationwide telephone and web-based services to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people of all ages. Call 1800 184 527, 3pm-12am (midnight) AEST / 7 days a week.
- Kids Helplineis Australia’s only free 24/7 confidential and private counseling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25. Call 1800 55 1800.
- Ahead for Business is a new digital hub that provides mental health and wellbeing services for small and family businesses. Hosted by the mental health organisation Everymind, the hub offers advice on how to recognise the signs of mental health, how to manage stress, and importantly, where to get support. https://www.aheadforbusiness.org.au/
You can save someone’s life!