The last 18 months have been among the toughest ongoing periods of time many people have faced in their lifetime. Being separated from family and friends, job losses, lifestyle changes, remote learning, telehealth and the cancellation of many things people enjoy.
Understandably, the impact on children’s mental health has been alarming, including huge increases and record numbers of calls for help to support lines such as Kids Helpline and Beyond Blue.
The impact for adult Australians can’t be ignored either. There has been a significant increase in people accessing mental health services, not to mention the many adults who are likely to be suffering in silence.
How you can check if someone’s okay
Today, Thursday 9 September is R U OK? Day and we ask that everyone takes the time today – as well as tomorrow and the next day and the many days to follow – to reach out. Call a friend. Check in with a loved one. Asking if someone is okay isn’t always just saying those words “Are you okay?”. The R U OK? Day’s website has a range of excellent suggestions (including this video) to help you gain fresh ideas when looking out for others and how to prepare to support them. Ideas for asking if someone’s okay include:
- Taking a friendly and genuinely concerned approach.
- Encouraging them to open up with questions like “What has been happening?”, “How have you been feeling?”
- Consider being more specific for each individual, such as “You seem quiet lately, how are you going?”
- If they don’t want to discuss their feelings right away, let them know that you are here anytime for a chat.
Doing your best to support one another
Play to your strengths when it comes to supporting others. If you’re a good talker, then offer the chat, but if you feel uncomfortable with that role, is there something else you can offer? Perhaps you could suggest playing an online game together, meeting for a walk in your allowed area, or suggesting a good book you have been reading.
For over a year now, the Bonkers Beat team has been offering support to our Bonkers Beat families, but also to families and children across the country via our Music Kinder at Home Facebook group.
Music and yoga are at the core of what we believe in at Bonkers Beat, and they both have proven benefits to support and enhance mental health and wellbeing. That includes for children and adults too!
Bonkers Beat team works tirelessly to provide videos and ideas to inspire and engage children even when they are at home. Songs, yoga poses, creativity, cooking and a range of other experiences have been incredibly popular. Plus, it’s completely free to join in — we’d love to see you in there!
We all have something special to offer one another — human connection is essential for us to thrive, so put yourself out there to check in with one or more people as we continue to support one another through good times and bad.