Samantha Wallace of Gloria Jean’s Grafton wears her R U OK T-shirt.
Samantha Wallace of Gloria Jean’s Grafton wears her R U OK T-shirt.

Helping youth find an OK place

YOUTH counsellor John Shearer has seen the simple question, "Are you okay?" save lives.

"It comes back to the old saying of a problem shared is a problem halved," said Mr Shearer.

It was national R U OK?Day yesterday and people across the Clarence were raising awareness about the relationship between isolation and mental health.

Staff in several stores including Gloria Jean's in Shoppingworld supported the cause by donning R U OK T-shirts.

Taking action when someone indicated they were not OK was just as important as asking, Mr Shearer said.

"People should seek help once people do open up... that's often as important as getting them to talk in the first place."

Mr Shearer pointed to the alarming statistics relating to mental illness in 16-24 year olds.

"Twenty six per cent of people in that age bracket have experienced a mental health disorder in the past 12 months," he said.

"Mental illness is the leading cause of healthy lives being lost in Australia each year."

"We can usually save the ones who do open up," he said.

There is more about R U OK at ruokday.com.



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