TAKING ACTION: South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group secretary Dan Mills and chairperson Tracie Armstrong.
TAKING ACTION: South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group secretary Dan Mills and chairperson Tracie Armstrong. Rhiannon Tuffield

Connect and ask 'RU OK?'

ASKING a simple question could save someone's life.

The South Burnett Suicide Prevention working group is supporting RU OK Day in the South Burnett on Thursday, September 14.

The group is taking the opportunity to ask "are you OK?” at two free community breakfasts on Thursday morning in Kingaroy and Nanango.

Head along from 8am-10am in the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt in Glendon St or in Nanango, IGA carpark on Fitzroy St.

According to Beyond Blue, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with about 3000 people dying by suicide every year.

This adds up to an average of eight people a day.

For every suicide, there are tragic ripple effects for friends, families, colleagues and the broader community.

Working group chairperson Tracie Armstrong said RU OK?'s vision was a world where everyone was connected and protected from suicide.

"RU OK's mission is to inspire and empower everyone to have meaningful conversations with people around them and support anyone struggling with life,” she said.

"The organisation aims to boost confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life's ups and downs, nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others, strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us.

"We know that suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge the world over. But we also know that some of the world's smartest people have been working tirelessly and developed credible theories that suggest there's power in that simplest of questions - 'are you ok?'

"It's this lack of connection (or lack of belonging) that we want to prevent. By inspiring people to take the time to ask 'are you ok?' and listen, we can help people struggling with life to feel connected long before they even think about suicide. It all comes down to regular, face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life. And asking 'are you ok?' is a great place to start.”

Cherbourg is also having a suicide awareness march on Thursday from 10am-2pm with a barbecue lunch afterwards.

The march will start at the US Mob Radio Station and work its way down Fisher St, Bell St and Broadway St, finishing at C.R.A.I.C.C.H.S Medical centre.

RU OK day started in 2009 when Gavin Larkin chose to honour his father Bruce Larkin, who took his own life in 1995.

So let's take this opportunity as a community and ask "are you ok?”

Do you need support? Call:

Lifeline 131114

Suicide Call Back Services 1300659467

Kids Helpline 1800551800

Beyond Blue 1300224636

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