National News

Conversations key to preventing suicide


Starting a conversation about mental health is essential in helping prevent suicides in Australia, the chief executive of charity R U OK? says.

The suicide prevention organisation was founded a decade ago to help people reach out to those around them who may be struggling with mental health.

"It absolutely does make a difference," chief executive Katherine Newton said of starting conversations on Wednesday ahead of tomorrow's R U OK? Day.

"You don't need to be an expert but letting someone be heard and being present with someone can help," she told AAP.

If you notice changes in a friend, family member or colleague's behaviour asking them how they are and letting them know you're there for support was important.

"Even if they are saying 'I'm fine,' just point out the changes you may have noticed ... and maybe see if there's someone else they would be willing to speak to if not yourself," Ms Newton said.

The message comes after popular AFL identity Danny "Spud" Frawley died in a single vehicle crash in regional Victoria on Monday.

Ms Newton said it was important not to speculate about his death.

However she added that the more high-profile people who speak about mental health, the better, as it will help address a negative stigma.

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