Any Day is OK to Ask R U OK?

R U OK? Day is our national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that any day is the day to ask, “Are you ok?”.  It’s about inspiring people to start these conversations every day of the year to support those struggling with life.

Sometimes, we may not feel confident if the person says, “No I’m not OK.”  And that’s OK.  You don’t have to be an expert to show you care.  Use these four steps to help navigate the conversation:

  1. Ask
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage Action
  4. Check In

You can check out the R U OK? Day resources and the Every Day Resources at www.ruokday.org.au.

Help get your school, workplace and community asking, “Are you ok?”.

Suicide Prevention Central Coast has small grants available to support you to host an
R U OK? Day Community event!

The small grants are being offered to stage RU OK? Day activities or events on or around RU OK? Day – Thursday 12th September 2019.

For more information or to apply, click here (provide link to form) for the R U OK? Day Small Grant Application Form or email info@suicidepreventioncentralcoast.org.au for a copy.  Grants close 19th July 2019.

R U OK? Conversation Convoy

The R U OK? Conversation Convoy travels around Australia to inspire everyone and give them the skills, motivation and confidence to start a conversation with anyone they might be worried about.  This year we are lucky to have the Convoy visiting the Central Coast on 10th July 2019.  The time and place is still to be decided so go to the R U OK? Website to get updates.  www.ruok.org.au/conversation-convoy

Important Dates

  • 10th July 2019 – R U OK? Conversation Convoy on the Central Coast
  • 19th July 2019 – Grant Applications close
  • 12th September 2019 – RU OK Day

REMEMBER:

Taking part can be as simple as learning R U OK?’s four steps so you can have a conversation that could change a life.

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage Action
  4. Check In

 

Are you interested in being part of the suicide prevention solution on the Central Coast?

Are you passionate about suicide prevention? Would you like to help make a difference on the Central Coast?

If the answer to these questions is yes we’d like you to join our LifeSpan champion team.

Click here to watch a brief video on what LifeSpan is all about.

The role of a LifeSpan champion is to increase knowledge of and participation in LifeSpan  and Suicide Prevention. Champions come from different sectors of the community and are an integral link to their communities, appropriate resources and activities. By becoming a LifeSpan champion you become part of the solution.

What do champions do?

You will link people to resources such as free online training – Question Persuade Refer (QPR) and other resources. You promote various suicide prevention initiatives such as RUOK? Day. You attend events such as World Suicide Prevention Day and others to give out information and talk about what’s happening on the Central Coast in Suicide Prevention.

Who can be a champion?

Anyone can be a champion! You do not need any specific qualifications or titles to be a LifeSpan Champion. You do not need lived experience of suicide to become a champion. All you need is a passion for suicide prevention and a keen drive to make a difference in your local community.

How do I become a LifeSpan champion?

Email LifeSpan at  info@suicidepreventioncentralcoast.org.au .

Let us know you’d like to be a champion.

We’ll get in contact to talk about your particular interest in suicide prevention and how to become a champion. We provide free online training and support for our champions.

We will keep you updated on what is happening in the local community and provide plenty of opportunities to become involved.

Without our champions LifeSpan’s suicide prevention would not be as effective or be able to reach the people who need us the most. We look forward to hearing from you. Happy championing!

Well Man – A new men’s health app

A fantastic new men’s health app was recently launched. The app is available for free via the App Store or Google Play Store and is aimed at improving men’s overall health and wellbeing.

One of our LifeSpan community members reviewed the app from a “blokes” perspective.

Their feedback was

“This is a really straight forward, sensible app that does a pretty good job incorporating health, well-being and psychological concepts into plain English specifically for men.”

“I believe it has strong rural origins, the video on the Men’s Resource Centre website (which is based in Albany WA) is wall to wall tractors, trucks and wheat fields.  My guess is that it will play very well with a large segment of men on the Central Coast.  It certainly sat easily with me”.

Some of the best features include:

  • The men’s survival booklet which is easy to read and navigate by topics. There is quite a comprehensive range of topics generating thought and reflection.
  • Emergency Contacts is very useful with 000, Suicide Call Back Service, beyondblue, MenLine Australia etc.
  • 18 day challenge – this encourages behaviour change in a non-threatening playful way.
  • 9 Tips for staying alive 4 men (suicide prevention program) – straight forward, practical and ties is with the other content.  This feature of the app could be really beneficial for health and community workers linking men to the app and using the booklet. The 18 day challenge or 9 tips as anchors would be good for follow up and ongoing work with a person. This also includes safety planning and a range of emergency contacts a finger press away within the app.  It opens up to a “booklet”, but behind the booklet is a navigation menu that has some really great information and resources for men.

For more information about the app click on the Mens Resource Centre or go to the App Store or Google Play Store for more information, search for Well Man.

Launch of QPR for Business

This month LifeSpan launched its QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Training for businesses.

In conjunction with the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECCPHN) we are now able to offer QPR Training for free for all local businesses to equip their employees with QPR lifesaving skills.

QPR is currently the only online training available in suicide prevention with a firm evidence base. It has been demonstrated to help save lives and to equip people with the confidence and skills to be able to help someone who may be experiencing psychological distress, including where to go to get help.

How will my business be supported by LifeSpan?

Your business will have a LifeSpan business team member contact you to discuss how QPR for business can work for you and your business, what resources are available to support you and to find out what you need to start the QPR journey. We’re here to support you each step of the way.

We have resources to support you and your managers and for your employees. Resources that link people to crisis numbers, support lines and on-line resources and face to face support.

You will also be regularly contacted by your LifeSpan representative and be supported throughout your QPR journey.

A big thank you to our partner, the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network for being able to assist LifeSpan to make valuable QPR Training available to all businesses who want to train their staff in suicide prevention skills. This is an exciting time for LifeSpan and we are looking forward to building a suicide safe Central Coast.

If your business is interested in training staff in QPR please email us at info@suicidepreventioncentralcoast.org.au

We look forward to working with you soon.

Positive Goal Setting n the New Year!

Happy New Year from the LifeSpan Team! We had a lovely break over the Christmas and New Year period but we are back on deck and hitting the ground running. There are lots of exciting plans for 2019 so keep an eye on our blog for updates.

With the New Year comes the intention of setting positive goals and resolutions for the year ahead. Here’s some tips on how you can stick to and make positive changes in 2019.

  1. Strive for goals that are attainable and realistic.

The surest way to break a New Year’s resolution is to make your goal unattainable. An example is to never eat ice cream again when ice cream is your favourite treat or snack; it is setting yourself up to fail. Instead say you will treat yourself to ice cream once a week or once a fortnight and to have a smaller portion.

  1. Plan In advance

 

Planning for a goal, giving it a lot of thought, weighing up the pro’s and con’s sets a good foundation for achieving your goals.

Here’s a good goal setting program Self Authoring Program , this helps you set a good vision for each of your goals.  A vision board with picture of your goals helps you to keep focused on what you want to achieve- it’s also fun to make.

 

  1. Make a pro’s & con’s list

Make a list of the pros and cons of each particular goal to make sure you are not selling yourself short in order to obtain the goal. For example, you may want to take an overseas holiday. The pro is that you are going to have a lovely time in Europe but a con may be that in order to save the money you will have to cut your gym membership. Weigh up the positives and negatives and see if it is going to be worthwhile to make some sacrifices.

  1. Talk about it

Don’t keep your goals or resolutions a secret, talk to your friends and family about what it is you are want to achieve, they can help keep you on track or even help you with your goal.. Your friends can hold you accountable by and you can help each other.

  1. Reward yourself

Make sure that you are also rewarding yourself. If you are denying yourself experiences or things in order to achieve a goal you can almost be guaranteed that you will slip up and be tempted to stop trying to achieve. For example, you may want to save $5,000 this year and not spending any money on anything fun. Instead, maybe each time you save $500 you can allow yourself to go and buy a something for yourself as a celebration. This way you are still feeling like you are not denying yourself of things in order to save money.

 

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself

Don’t beat yourself up over the occasional slip up; this doesn’t help you to achieve your goal. Just take each day as it comes and if you slip up just get back on track again. Tomorrow is another day.

 

  1. Stick with it

Research says that it takes 21 days to form a habit and six months for it to form into part of your personality so stick with it. Persistence pays off eventually.

 

  1. Keep trying

Don’t despair if you have not stuck to your resolutions by February, just start over and keep going. Tomorrow is a new day, just keep on going, if you slip up, get back on track. . Talk to friends; get some ideas on what they suggest to help you stick to your goals. If you become despondent consider a life coach or a counsellor.

 

  1. Do free QPR Training (save a life in 2019)!

Make 2019 the year that you do free QPR training to help save a life. QPR is Question, Persuade, Refer and is a free online suicide prevention training course. QPR will help you to recognise the warning signs for suicide and help you to start a conversation to help those in need. Click here to access free QPR Training.

R U OK? Day – Central Coast Friday 14th September 2018

LifeSpan was proud to award 11 grants to local community organisations who were hosting an R U OK? Day event on the Central Coast.

We had a great response with 23 grant applications received (wow!).

It was encouraging to see so many Central Coast groups spreading the word about the importance of meaningful conversations and connections to prevent suicide.

R U OK? Day aims to inspire and empower people to reach out to those around them and support anyone who may be struggling.

 The goals of R U OK? Day include:

  • Boosting our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life’s ups and downs;
  • Nurturing our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others; and
  • Strengthening our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us.

The successful applicants were chosen for meeting these key goals in creative, innovative and collaborative ways.

 We are pleased to have received some fantastic feedback from our grant recipients about their various events.

The Central Coast Local Health District Nursing and Midwifery team used their R U OK? Day grant to highlight, via social media, the importance of checking in regularly with friends, family and colleagues. They created a YouTube and Facebook video for staff and the wider community to raise awareness about the simple steps it takes to save a life – asking “are you okay?” and then listening, checking-in and encouraging action. Well done to the Nursing and Midwifery team for putting together a powerful and inspirational video that spreads such an important message.

The Wyong Toastmasters group had 45 people attend their R U OK? Day luncheon at Wyong RSL Club, with R U OK? Day Central Coast ambassador Chris Newman, as a special guest speaker. Chris spoke to the group about how to make a difference through conversation, with lots of positive feedback from attendees!

The San Remo Neighbourhood Centre held an R U OK? Day art exhibition. The exhibition featured art works from the local Indigenous community. The art works represented connection and communication. The R U OK? Day core messages of supporting others, strengthening sense of belonging and being strong and dynamic were displayed throughout the exhibition. There are some great photos on the San Remo Neighbourhood Centre Facebook page if you would like to take a look.

These are just some examples of the successful local events.

A huge thank you to all those who applied for an R U OK? Day community grant. We were overwhelmed by the level of enthusiasm and involvement from the community.

Well done to all those organisations who held an R U OK? Day event to raise awareness about suicide prevention. The grants will be running again next year and we encourage everyone to apply!