R U OK? day is a good time to ‘check’ your mental health and those around you.
Depression, stress and anxiety are common mental health concerns. Symptoms can include a lack of confidence and energy, feelings of hopelessness, confusion, sadness and anger.
Remember, if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, know you are not alone. Many of the appointments at Park Street General Practice are related to mental health and wellbeing issues and you are not the only one out there experiencing what you are going through.
However, tackling problems early can help prevent these from escalating at a later date and a visit to your GP is a good place to start.
Talking about mental health issues can be difficult. Your GP will listen. Listen without judgement.
We are trained to deal with sensitive issues in a professional and supportive way, so there is no need to be embarrassed. Everything you tell is confidential, unless we are worried that you may be a danger to yourself or others.
Some tips to help your visit to the doctor:
- Write down a list of questions to ask
- Take a family member of friend along to your appointment for support if it will help you feel more at ease
- Be open and honest
If you speak to a GP about your mental health concerns, we may be able to recommend simple lifestyle changes that can improve your mental health. We are likely to invite you back for another appointment in a few weeks’ time to see how you are doing.
We have a range of referral specialists who can help you with additional support and to come up with a tailored roadmap to recovery.
R U OK?
The R U OK? campaign initiative has gained enormous momentum over the years and it is pleasing to see many Geelong workplaces and schools participate in a wide range of events and activities to raise mental health awareness.
It’s based on asking those around you a simple question
Are you ok?
It is especially a good idea to ask someone who seems particularly under stress, having financial or relationship issues, is ill, caring for someone, facing challenges at work or just overwhelmed with life in general.
R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.
In 1995, Barry Larkin was not ok. His suicide left family and friends wondering, why?
In 2009, his son Gavin Larkin chose to champion just one question to honour his father and to try and protect other families from the pain – Are you OK?
The extraordinary story behind R U OK? was brought to life by documentary Australian Story in 2011. They quickly realised the documentary to raise awareness was not going to be enough. So the R U Ok? national campaign was born.
Gavin remained passionate about the fact that a conversation could change a life until cancer ended his own life in 2011. His legacy lives on in the conversation that is equipping Australians with the skills and confidence to support those struggling with life.
Starting the conversation
Starting the mental health conversation is the important part.
If you see someone that does not appear to be their ‘old self’ ask what’s up and listen without judgement. And check in on them regularly.
Encourage action. A visit to the GP is a good place to start.
Just three little words that can make a difference to someone’s life…
Are you OK?
R U OK day is on Thursday 13 September, 2018, but really we need to keep the message alive every day.
For more information on participating in RU OK? Day, visit www.ruok.org.au
If you need immediate assistance, please contact Lifeline tel: 13 11 14
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a GP. Links to other (“third party”) websites are provided solely as a convenience and not as a guarantee or recommendation by Park Street General Practice for the services, information, opinion or any other content on such third party websites or as an indication of any affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of such third party websites.