The simple question that could save a life
TODAY is R U OK Day and Trishia Weier is hoping to answer the phone plenty of times today to provide expert assistance to those in need.
According to the website for R U OK? Day, by taking the time to ask "are you ok?" and listening, you can help people struggling to feel connected with meaningful conversations about life.
Lifeline is one of organisations that has partnered with the R U OK? initiative by providing telephone counselling support for those wanting to seek help.
As a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter for the past three years, Ms Weier said people placing trust in her was a privilege and she never knows what to expect when arriving at work each day.
"Sometimes they're not feeling very strong but it's strength that they can actually call and talk to us," she said.
"Every a day varies, it's unpredictable, every day we could have an influx of calls, even the same day in the next week could be totally different," she said.
"When you're speaking with someone, you can help the caller clear their mind, work out where to go from here and what they need to do."
Steps that could change a life:
3) Encourage action
4) Check in
Ms Weier said there was a seemly endless list of topics that she covers in her phone conversations with new issues emerging all the time.
"Just generally, loneliness, family issues, financial issues, and it's different for everyone," she said.
She recommended the website www.lifeline.org.au which provides a helpful guide for what to do if you are experiencing a crisis.
R U OK? Day is a great initiative as far as Ms Weier is concerned but she said a person should be prepared to allocate enough time to allow a proper discussion to take place and not be afraid to seek advice from Lifeline if the conversation takes the listener out of their depth.
As far as Rockhampton's Lifeline Service Coordinator Joanne Adrelius is concerned, everyday at Lifeline is an 'R U OK?' day.
"Nationally we answer approximately 2000 calls per day from people struggling to cope; whether it be just for this hour, just for this day or dealing with ongoing struggles," Ms Adrelius said.
We have had feedback from callers who have felt that the contact they have had with Lifeline has helped them get through a crisis that they have experienced and some have told us that the contact with Lifeline has saved their life.
She said by asking if a person is ok, it can initiate a helping conversation that has the potential to connect someone with the help they need.
"That help may be a phone call to Lifeline on 13 11 14 and, hence, may save a life."