There was a time when we could go about our daily lives, carefree and mostly looking forward to enjoying what life has to offer. How quickly things can change.

Less than a year ago our towns and cities were bustling. How we miss the sounds of the clatter of feet on the pavement, conversations that competed with the throng of the passing traffic. Simply, we miss our regular routines and meet-ups with friends. We queued for the early morning coffee, off to work or play, meet friends for lunch, then the occasional after work catch-ups. They were the days – last year.

The most notable aspect of isolation is the silence, the nothingness. Then there’s the anxiety, the fear of the impacts of Covid-19. From the loss of income, losing contact with friends and family, loss of lifestyle choices, the feeling of isolation and loneliness, to the virus itself.

Those already vulnerable to depression, can spiral to catastrophic levels and to the taking of their own lives. This year, suicide numbers have increased to unprecedented levels with suicides predicted to increase by 25 per cent each year for the next five years. That is 750 extra deaths by suicide a year which is a far bigger death toll than Covid-19, silent deaths. It is a mental health emergency that has erupted in Australia. Life has been impacted by uncertainty, disruption and disappearing optimism as the mental health situation becomes chronic.

By doing something we can make a difference and even save a life.

We understand that some of us are more vulnerable than others, but we are all capable of noticing the signs of sadness, depression or anxiety in those who are near to us.

R U OK Day, Thursday, September 10, 2020 is our national day of action when we remind everyone to ask those three simple words “Are You Okay?” These kind words can offer help to someone in need or change a life and this year R U OK Day is focusing on how to help if someone in your life says that they are not okay.

“There’s more to say after R U OK?’, is the message for R U OK Day 2020, with a focus on building confidence and skills for people to navigate a conversation with someone in their life who might be struggling, says Katherine Newton, CEO, R U OK. To learn more go to

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and be willing to support those around us.”

Time is one of the most valuable things we can share with the people that we care about.

Highland FM 107.1 is joining with Southern Highland News and ReFrame Community Links Wellbeing to promote that everyday is a good day to ask, “are you okay?”

When someone in your life is struggling, ask them if they’re okay and know how to overcome the difficulties of what to say next.

Or you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or ReFrame Community Links Wellbeing on 0455 104 104 or go to

Adam Stokeld

Highland FM 107.1

Read the full article in the Southern Highland News.

R U OK Day 2020