Last Thursday we celebrated the very important annual “R U OK? Day” to confront the issues presented by mental illnesses, and breaking the stigma that too often clouds around these important discussion points. I love this day. This chance to be present that little bit more, and remind my friends that to me, they matter more than they could know. It’s a blessing we talk about how we’re feeling on days like this one. But what we forget is that it’s not just a blessing – in fact, it is fundamentally important for our own well-being.
We might ask ourselves why? But once we’ve had a look at the statistics, the answer is all too clear. According to the Australian Department of Health, almost half of the Australian population (45.5%) had encountered some form of mental health issue at some point throughout their life. During 2007, an alarming 14.4% of the population stated that they were tackling anxiety related issues. What this data tells us is that the importance of asking our friends, family, and ourselves if we are ok can not be overlooked. Mental health matters, and it’s up to us to break the stigma of talking about how we are feeling. This is why initiatives such as “R U OK? Day” are of such great importance and relevance to us in this day and age.
For more information regarding the “R U OK?” movement, you can visit their official website here.