Asking R U OK Encouraged As State Government Focuses on Construction Industry Mental Health

Western Australians are being urged to check in on family, friends and colleagues and ask “R U OK” as part of the national day of action on mental health.

People are encouraged to provide support by listening, encourage action and follow up with someone to find out how they’re travelling, to remind people that a conversation could change a life.

“It is important we continue these important conversations about wellbeing and support services across Western Australia,” Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said.

“If you are concerned about how a friend or family member is travelling, reach out and start a conversation, ask the R U OK?”

The State Government has focused on the construction industry this year, raising awareness about workers are affected by suicide and mental health issues.

Mr Cook will join MATES in Construction WA, who will fly their flag at construction sites across Perth and at Parliament House, acknowledging the mental health difficulties faced by workers.

The government provides funding for the MATES in Construction standby response co-ordinator, who oversees protocols and educates industry workers, including FIFO workers on mental health and wellbeing.

“We are flying the flag today, because employers and employees in the construction industry, their families, and the wider community need to play a role in continuing the conversation that looking after your mental health and wellbeing is important, and support is available to those who need it,” Mr Cook said.

Suicide prevention remains a state government priority, following the launch of its State-wide “Think Mental Health” campaign providing information on mental health, symptoms and signs and where to get help.

Suicide prevention co-ordinators have also be placed in every region in WA to help build the capacity to better identify and address local suicide related issues.

Mr Cook said help is always available for people to start a conversation with someone who may not be feeling well mentally.

“If you’re not sure how to start a conversation, visit the R U OK? Website or www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au for tips and conversation starters,” he said.

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