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Lifeline WA volunteers on how to ask R U OK?

Lifeline WA Telephone Crisis Support Volunteer

P&N Bank We Champion partner Lifeline WA and their team of incredible volunteers know better than most how to have a chat to someone who is not ok. Every Lifeline WA Telephone Crisis Support Volunteer goes through an intensive training program to equip them to answer the hundreds of calls made to 13 11 14 every week.

In a special World Suicide Prevention Day presentation, Lifeline WA volunteers provide their unique perspective on how to ask someone if they are ok and what to do if their answer is ‘no I’m not ok’.

Here are some further tips from Lifeline WA on Seeking help and supporting others:

If you are struggling

How we are feeling in our mind and body will vary from day to day

There will be some days when we’re feeling ok and others when we might feel desperate and struggle to cope. This will look and feel different for everyone. It’s important to know that this is normal and common.

Whatever the case is for you – if you’re feeling low, worried or things just seem too much, there is support out there to help you.

No matter who you are or what you’re going through, taking steps to manage your current situation is important.

  • Be aware of your feelings - Noticing changes in your mood and thoughts, and identifying what situations make you feel good and bad can help to stop negative thought patterns.
  • Talk to your GP - Let you GP know how you are feeling. They will suggest the most appropriate treatment for your current situation.
  • Talk to someone you trust - Talking to family, friends or a crisis line can help you develop an understanding of what is going on for you and help you move forward.

If someone you know is struggling

We can all make a difference in the lives of those who might be struggling by having a meaningful conversation

Every one of us has the inherent ability to be a support to another person. If you see signs that someone you know is struggling, you can be a great support to them by asking if they are ok and being willing to listen and get them to help if needed. Don’t ever underestimate the power you have to connect with another person and help them find hope and stay safe.

  • Reach out - Ask if they are ok. Make sure you find the right time to have the conversation, so no one has to rush off.
  • Listen - Take what they are saying seriously and encourage them to express how they are feeling. Let them do most of the talking. They can feel a sense of relief talking about how they’re feeling.
  • Encourage action - Help them with next steps. This might be their GP, family or friend, Community Health Centre, a crisis support service or anyone they feel they can trust.
  • Ask - Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. It needs to be a direct question that can’t be misinterpreted such as: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” Encourage them to call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
  • Follow up - Check in with the person to see how they are doing down the track. You may be busy, so scheduling a time in your calendar can help remind you. Genuine concern can make a real difference.

If you need support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, available 24/7. You may also consider talking to your GP or health professional about your current situation. Your GP can check your general health and refer you to local health professionals based on your needs.

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