Today is RUOK Day, an opportunity to ask those in your life if they are ok. The most recent research shows us that by asking the question we can have a massive positive impact on those we engage with. For a long time, it has been feared to ask those hard questions, not anymore! Mental illness is effecting all of us to some extent, either directly or someone we care about. Its time to act now.
Much the same as World Suicide Prevention Day which was this Tuesday, today comes as an opportunity to shed light on the darkness so many are going through. Today you will hear many statistics, I for one are a fan of statistics. However, we must not get complacent. Behind these numbers are people, someone's mother, brother, cousin or daughter. A life lost, cut short and a future never fulfilled. Their families left in pieces, wondering what they could have done differently.
Today isn't a day for sadness or sorrow. It's a day for questioning what you can do. What role can you play in this catastrophic epidemic we are faced with. To reference some stats, as I mentioned earlier. Currently, in Australia alone, we are losing 8 Australians a day to suicide. I would like to add here the number of potential suicides that go recorded as road incidents could see this number rise. In 2017, according to the ABS, we lost 3,128 Australias to suicide. For reference, that is the equivalent to almost 21 full Boeing 737s.
There is no question the world is getting faster, the pace of society is increasing and the opportunity for connection is decreasing. This is a problem we can no longer turn a blind eye to. We must, MUST bring back human connection. It is by no means the cure for depression, anxiety or the likes. It does, however, play a major role in our happiness.
Today, as a fellow Your Prep family member, I ask this favour.
Reach out to someone! A friend, family member or perhaps a work colleague. Someone you know hasn't quite been themselves of late. Those going through depression don't want your sympathy, they want your empathy. They want to know someone cares. This isn't about handouts, it's about a hand up. If someone opens up, don't try to solve their problems. Be an open ear, a caring heart and an open mind.
Your Prep exists to make genuine connection over a meal not only easy but enjoyable and a positive experience. Research shows that by connection over a meal we release specific chemicals into our brains which I like to refer to as the happy drug. Not only this, the simple act of connecting over a meal gives us a sense of belonging which can be so easily lost in today's socially connected society.
Our goal, in collaboration with The Connection Project, is by 2025 lower suicide statistics by 50%. Currently we losing 8 Australias a day, eventually we want that number to be ZERO, however, it's going to take generations to make that change. By 2025 it is extremely possible to see that number be 4, but it's going to take all of us. Coming together as a nation and as a community to solve a crisis we are all faced with.
Together we can shed light on the darkness and maybe, just maybe we can save a life.