“Ask. Listen. Follow up”: Celebrity men talk about mental health on RUOK? Day.

Today is RUOK day.

This week, Australia learned that one of our sporting heroes, Buddy Franklin, was suffering from mental illness. It is a challenging time for him, but for the millions of people suffering mental illness, there was something comforting about knowing that someone else knew what they were going through.

Yesterday, Bianca Dye wrote for Mamamia about Buddy’s treatment, and she captured this feeling beautifully:

“Knowing you are not alone is one of the most comforting and reassuring feelings you can have when you realise that you (like one in four Australians) have mental health issues.”

Talking about mental illness is particularly difficult for men. So we asked some of our favourite celebrity men to talk about what RUOK Day means to them.

As radio’s Jules Lund said, “It’s a day for us to take our heads out of our arses, look at the people around us and say, “Are you ok?” It can change a life”.

And it’s not just asking the question: “Ask, listen and follow up,” says Michael from Youtube Hits.

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Here’s what the other celebrities had to say:

Every year, about 2,500 Australians take their own lives.

To mark R U OK day and World Suicide Prevention Day, Virgin Mobile are also offering free voice calls to its customers to any network within Australia today.

So, pick up the phone or meet for a beer and check in with your mates and loved ones by asking them that one simple question.

It might just be exactly what they need to hear.

For support, call Lifeline 13 11 14. For crisis support, call 000.

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