On Thursday is R U OK day.
On Thursday is R U OK day. contributed

Reach out today on R U OK? Day

TODAY is R U OK? Day meaning it's time to reach out, make the call, send the message or commit to that overdue catch up.

The national day of action is dedicated to reminding people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, "R U OK?”, in a meaningful way.

Why? Because connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference to anyone who might be struggling.

To coincide with R U OK? Day, Woollam Constructions have flown the Flag for suicide prevention at their Ballina Hospital site with a BBQ in an effort to lower the alarming suicide rates among Australian men in construction.

Deakin University rececently released the study: Suicide in the Construction Industry which shows the suicide rate amongst men in construction was nearly double that of the general population.

The MATES in Construction (MIC), In conjunction with R U OK? Day, created the Fly the Flag initiative in an attempt to make real change in the construction sector.

Woollam Constructions Managing Director Craig Percival said every business and individual involved in the construction sector had a responsibility to do more to support the mental health and wellbeing of men in industry.

"We all have a responsibility to our colleagues, employees and friends to talk about these issues out in the open and reduce the rates of suicide amongst men in our industry,” Mr Percival said.

"Simple gestures like flying the MIC flag and having a BBQ can have a real impact, as it gives us all a chance to stop, reflect on the significance of the issue, and have conversations for change.”

R U OK? Day Campaign director Katherine Newton said with about eight people taking their lives in Australia each day and many more attempting, there was much work to do. 

"We want people to be asking 'are you okay?' every day of the week,” Mrs Newton said.

A survey undertaken by R U OK? found 51 per cent of people were asked if they were okay when they really needed it. Another 57 per cent of survey participants said in the last 12 months they wanted someone to ask if they were okay, while 52 per cent thought about asking someone if they were okay at least once but didn't.

For support at any time of day or night, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For more info, visit ruok.org.au.