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Save a Life: Ask R U OK?

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

Pictured: Jay Lasscock and Queanbeyan Blue Team Mates - Image Credit: Richard Briggs.

Many of you may have followed the NRL fixture this year and noticed how well the Raiders have gone! A very close mate of mine, Jay Lasscock is a junior raider. The bloke is 25 years old, has a family of three, big, strong, burly type bloke. Queanbeyan born and bred, club captain of the Queanbeyan Blues, and has won a number of premierships with the Raiders feeder club.

A promising future.

Google his name, you’ll find his player stats with a few clicks of the mouse. What you’ll also find is that he sadly passed away in 2012. Jay Lasscock was my close mate, we grew up going to the same school and playing football together. Jay commit suicide at 25, and I was caught up being busy with work and whatever else at the time. Having joined Defence at 18 I kind of lost touch with most of my school mates, but looking back I sure wish I had made the time to catch up with Jay. I wish I could go back and ask him if he was doing ok, catch up over a beer and meet his young family. Jay was the last person I ever thought would be facing mental health issues in his personal life. It was hard to believe that a club captain, a leader, a big strong bloke, family man, well-known and good footy player with seemingly the world at his feet with endless opportunities and possibilities, would be going through some of the darkest periods of his life. It just goes to show that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The point here is this: you have the opportunity to save a life, to identify, recognise the signs, intervene, and help someone out who is going through strife in their personal life.

SO, what can you do?

1. Initiate a conversation – you might notice someone in your life has changed in their ways, behaviour or otherwise.

2. Ask R U OK – don’t make it weird, just be up front and ask the question.

3. Listen without judgement – you have no idea what battles someone may be facing.

4. Encourage action – be that person to push them in the right direction. There are support mechanisms available through R U OK, BeyondBlue, and the Black Dog Institute.

5. Check in – ask them how their progressing, be that ‘go to’ person that they can talk to.

Keep it simple. Don’t make it weird. Be yourself and ask the question. Save a life today and ask: R U OK.

Who will you ask?
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