• Toni Ambrogetti

Ask R U OK? this Tamworth Country Music Festival


Country music fans are being encouraged to start meaningful conversations with their loved ones.


The R U OK? organisation has travelled to Tamworth to raise awareness of their bespoke set of resources for those who live and work outside Australia’s bigger towns and cities.


CEO Katherine Newton said the R U OK? Mateship Manual recognises the “toughen up” culture that can exist in these communities and aims to build confidence in asking a mate if everything is ok.


"We are here to be able to help people trust the signs - if they're gut tells them that something is not quite right with someone they love then we help people start conversations," she said.


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Ms Newton said the research shows that suicide rates in regional and rural areas are higher than metropolitan areas.


She added that you don't have to be an expert to check in with someone.


"A really good way of starting the conversation is saying 'look, this is what I have noticed'," Ms Newton said.


"When you point out their behaviour it shows them someone has noticed.


"Do not ask the question though if you are not being genuine about it."


Ms Newton said they are working with their partners, Headspace, Ozhelp and RAMHP and checking in with the community and raising awareness of exiting support services for rural and remote communities.


"In addition to our community engagement activity, R U OK? are grateful to have the support of the Music for Mates concert which aims to ‘get Tamworth talking’ and start more life-changing conversations," she added.


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