Regular conversations key to saving lives

·2-min read

A simple chat with her mum was enough to save Seryn Adams' life.

Ms Adams, 26, was struggling with depression and contemplating suicide when her mum picked up on the signs and had a life-changing conversation.

"My mum is not an expert, she had no experience with someone who had felt like this before and it must have been so confronting, her own daughter contemplating suicide," she said.

"She talked me through all the practical things we could do to get some more support and really encouraged me to speak to someone."

Now an ambassador for suicide prevention charity R U OK?, Ms Adams uses her experience to promote the importance of having regular conversations with friends and family.

"When I talk to people now about how to ask the 'are you okay' question I remind them, you don't have to be an expert," she said.

"You just have to be there to listen and to support them through what they're experiencing and encourage them to be able to seek some help."

Australians are being urged to use this Thursday's R U OK? Day as an opportunity to ask the question of their loved ones.

This year's call to action is "no qualifications needed", a reminder that you don't have to be a medical expert to have a conversation that saves a life.

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said recent events, such as natural disasters, the pandemic and the rising cost of living, had placed an additional strain on mental health.

"R U OK? Day is our national annual reminder that we need to be thinking about how the people in our world really are," Ms Newton said.

"The best way to look out for the people we care about is to trust our gut when we see signs of change or struggle, and make time for regular meaningful conversations."

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