Tamworth turns yellow for R U OK Day, with services and stalls on Peel Street

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It’s the simple question that can solve a complex issue. – R U OK? On Thursday the nation was swept up in yellow for R U OK Day, an event that’s aimed at starting a conversation about mental health. In Tamworth several local services set up camp on Peel Street, asking people the important question, showcasing what local services are on offer, and generally spreading some smiles on faces. Centacare wellbeing manager Kourtney Orman said the most important aspect of R U OK isn’t just asking the question, but also knowing what to do next. “It’s about checking in with mates and family to see if they are OK,” she said. “We have lots of services here talking to people about how to facilitate that conversation, knowing what to do next and at what point that conversation get too difficult, as well as how to link people with a service.” A recent survey revealed 63 per cent of people were not confident they would recognise the signs of someone struggling, and 50 per cent of those said they would be more confident in asking the question if they knew the signs. “If someone isn’t behaving as they normally would ask the question, Ms Orman said. If the answer is no the best thing you can do is listen and help that person through the journey, and then follow-up after they have been linked to a service.” R U OK was founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009, who “chose to champion just one question” to honour his father, and protect other families from the pain his endured.

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