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Ask Your Mob, Your Way, R U OK? Mental health campaign launched aimed at Indigenous Australians

A national not-for-profit group, which raises awareness about mental health and suicide prevention, launched a campaign last month to reduce the instances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide.

Ask Your Mob, Your Way, R U OK? is a suite of culturally appropriate resources to help Indigenous Australians support each other through bad mental health days.

The campaign includes a video series showing some of the different ways people ask each other if they are OK, as well as personal stories, which the not-for-profit group say are “authentic”.

Yamatji/Martu woman, netball star and campaign ambassador Emma MacNeill, said she uses “What now?”, “You right?” or “What’s happening?” to check on the people around her.

Stronger Together — another R U OK? campaign that aims to strengthen mental health in Indigenous communities — manager Steven Satour said the group would work with communities to translate the stories into several languages.

“We know language is central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” he said.

“Culture is also fundamental for our overall social and emotional wellbeing.”

R U OK? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group chair Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat said: “Nationally, Indigenous people die from suicide at twice the rate of non-Indigenous people.

“We know that starting conversations early can stop little problems growing into big ones. We need our mob to ask the question, their way.”

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