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Narrogin’s R U OK? round encourages people to check on a mate

The Upper Great Southern Hockey Association held an R U OK? round last week to promote a positive approach to mental health.

Players and spectators were encouraged to wear yellow and pause to think about the R U OK? message of checking on a mate.

Holyoake Wheatbelt suicide prevention co-ordinator Jo Drayton gave all coaches and managers packs containing fact sheets and mental health resources.

Ms Drayton also gave an R U OK? presentation at the hockey club, with a focus on recognising the signs of when someone might be overwhelmed, and giving them tips on what to do if the answer is “no”.

“We still see high levels of stigma around mental health and suicide prevention especially in our regions, who statistically have more suicides than metro areas,” Ms Drayton said.

The All Blacks Men’s A grade team wearing their yellow alternate strip for the RUOK round
Camera IconThe All Blacks Men’s A grade team wearing their yellow alternate strip for the RUOK round Credit: Rodney Johnson/Rodney Johnson

“Help-seeking isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength and it’s really important to acknowledge that with the stoicism and ‘toughen-up’ attitude out here.”

She said with so many community members involved in sport, it was a great place to spread the message. “We know that sporting clubs are a way that people connect and feel integrated with their community,” she said. “Rodney Johnson got in touch with us and said he thought it would be a great opportunity to promote the R U OK? message with the hockey and the netball.”

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