R U OK?
“Mental illness does not discriminate”
- Depression is common. More than 350 million people across the world – of all ages and from all communities – suffer from depression.
- Depression is predicted to be the leading cause of death for males under the age of 35, by 2020.
- Over 800 000 people die by suicide every year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Yet these deaths are preventable.
- Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by neurological disorders: more than 50 million people have epilepsy; around 35.6 million are affected by Alzheimer disease and other dementias globally.
- The target group for WHO work on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies is any population exposed to extreme stressors, such as refugees, internally displaced persons, disaster survivors and terrorism-, war- or genocide-exposed populations.
- Worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries this is even higher, i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after child birth.
- Worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. Neuropsychiatric conditions are the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions
R U OK with GAVIN LARKIN
In 1995, much-loved Barry Larkin was far from ok. His suicide left family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions.
In 2009, his son Gavin Larkin chose to champion just one question to honour his father and to try and protect other families from the pain his endured.
Are you ok?
While collaborating with Janina Nearn on a documentary to raise awareness, the team quickly realized the documentary alone wouldn’t be enough.
To genuinely change behaviour Australia-wide, a national campaign was needed. And from this realisation, and with Gavin and Janina’s expertise and passion, R U OK? was born.
Gavin remained a passionate champion of the fact a conversation could change a life, even as cancer ended his in 2011.
His and Janina’s legacy is ensuring all Australians realise a little question can make a big difference to those people struggling with life.
Buddy is an Australian superstar, an elite athlete. He recently shared his battles with mental illness publicly in 2015. See his highlights reel below, to see that mental illness does not discriminate.
THE BLACK DOG
See the signs, Ask a friend if they R OK?
INFOGRAPH: GLOBAL Mental Health Infograph
PREVENTION – Best form of a cure
(WHO action plan)
Have the conversation with authenticity
If it is beyond your expertise, then refer them to someone that can help when they are ready. Just ask R U OK? Then surround them with the support of friends, family and community. Often people just need someone that will listen to them without judgement.
Feel free to share international referrals (And we will add them here).
Is there a CAUSE?