This Thursday the 12th of September is RUOK? Day. 

RUOK? Day is run by an organisation which supports Suicide Prevention. Their mission is to break down barriers between people to help establish a conversation between them and another person. By doing this, we can encourage people to talk about how their feeling without judgment. In today’s blog post, I would like to share RUOK?’s 4 steps (3) to initiating this conversation in the hope that we can come together to help each other and lower suicide rates in Australia. But first, here is a glimpse of the stats related to suicide and mental illness: 

  • 1 in 5 Aussies will experience mental illness in their life but up to 65% of these individuals WILL NOT seek advice or treatment (1)
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men will go through depression at some point in their lives –  Wow!
  • When comparing gender; Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death amongst males however suicide does not even rank in the top 20 causes of mortality in females (2)
  • Which brings us to this overwhelming fact – Men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than females
    • All these stats bring us to the same question… why? that may be a question for another day
Image 1: Sourced from RUOK? Official website, http:ruok.org.au on 09/09/2019

The benefits exercise can have on our mental well being are well researched and established but here are a few just to remind you:

  • Increased level of endorphins (happy hormones)
  • increased mood
  • reduced stress levels
  • improved productivity 
  • improved self-image and confidence
  • improved sense of community especially when exercising with others

So what should we be doing, how often and what type of exercise? In all honesty, that really depends. Every individual is different and should go through an assessment with their exercise physiologist to determine the formula that will be right for them. 

RUOK? Day is all about raising awareness, so that is exactly what I’d like to do. So if you’re still reading then you’ve probably realised I’m not going to go through any specific exercises in this blog post. What I hope to do is remind you guys of the 4 important steps when asking someone RUOK? (3).


Step 1: Ask RUOK?

  • Are you ready to ask this question? 
  • Pick a time and place that is appropriate, like a quiet room ensuring that you both have time to chat
  • Be relaxed and friendly, remember this person may say “No, I’m not ok” so make sure they’re 100% comfortable and you know what to do if that is their response

Step 2: Listen

  • Be prepared for anything
  • Remember to try not to judge anybody and acknowledge things that may be hard for them

Step 3: Encourage Action

  • If you feel this person may benefit from help from a professional, is there anyone you can recommend? Maybe help them out by doing some research to help them find someone that may help them
  • Ask them what you could do to help them or how they’ve managed a similar situation in the past

Step 4: Check-In

  • Stay in touch, don’t forget about them 
  • Set aside time to ask them how they’re going with things or how their feeling
  • Remember that anything is better than nothing, so trust your gut instinct

So, this Thursday the 12th of September, the staff here at Fit Clinic invite all members and guests to wear something YELLOW when they come into the clinic as a symbol of support and recognition that it’s OK not to be OK! 
If you or someone you know hasn’t been feeling like themselves lately, Fit Clinic is always a safe place for you to come and talk (1300 397 497). However, if this conversation may be too big for family/friends we encourage you to seek the support of one of the following organisations:

  • Lifeline Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention
    • 13 11 14
    • available 24/7
  • Beyond Blue 
    • 1300 22 4636
    • available 24/7
  • Kids Help Line 
    • 1800 55 1800
    • counselling for people aged 5-25
Image 2: Sourced from RUOK? Official website, http:ruok.org.au on 09/09/2019

References:

  1. Robert Stanton, 10/10/2016, Depression, Exercise and the AEP, (Powerpoint Presentation), sourced on 09/09/2019 via Exercise and Sport Science Australia, https://www.essa.org.au/
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 26/09/2019, 3303.0 Causes of Death, Autralia, 2017, Sourced on 09/09/2019 from https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/3303.0
  3. RUOK?, 2019, “You’ve Got What It Takes, Simple Steps That Could Change A Life”, sourced on 09/09/2019 via https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
  4. All images (including the featured image) were sourced from https://www.ruok.org.au/ on 09/09/2019


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