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Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Free cuppas sparked conversations on mental health in cafés across the region this morning. 

Local non-profit HealthWISE donated more than $6500 to 29 cafés throughout the New  England North West and southern Queensland to shout the morning rush for R U OK? Day. A  national initiative which reminds Australians to check in on friends and family, customers  were also offered R U OK? Day resources on starting conversations about mental health.  

Tamworth café Teamo were proud to take part for the fourth year in a row. 

“Teamo loves being involved with the ‘HealthWISE free coffee for R U OK? Day and (we)  enjoy seeing the look on our customers’ faces when they realise their coffees are free,”  owner Prue Russ said. 

“It brightens our day as much as theirs.”  

“I find that having a day like R U OK? Day at our café, we can spread awareness about the cause throughout our local community and hopefully encourage people to speak up and learn that it’s ok to talk, as well as ask for help,” said Chalmonie Fletcher from Molly May’s in Manilla. 

The cafes that participated include:

Armidale – Westside Espresso Café and Boobooks 
Ashford – TNJ Store Ashford 
Bendemeer – Bendemeer General  Store 
Boggabri – Bluebird Café  
Croppa Creek – Croppa Creek Store
Ebor – Fusspots 
Glen Innes – The Local Glen Innes
Goondiwindi – Gather 4390 
Gravesend – Gravesend Coffee Shop
Gunnedah – Camp Grounds (with pastries from Reverence Sourdough  for the Gunnedah Health & Fitness Co  morning yoga class) 
Guyra – Juneils 
Inverell – Freckles 
Manilla – Molly May’s 
Moree – Brooker Trading Co
Narrabri – Coogle Café 
North Star – Vicarage Café
Pallamallawa – Pallamallawa Café
Tamworth – Teamo Teahouse
Uralla – Michael’s Café  
Wee Waa – House on Rose
Yetman – Yetman Store

HealthWISE Mental Health team leader Tanya Hague recognised it can be daunting to ask a  loved one if they’re ok, especially if the answer is no. She said you don’t need to be a health professional to help someone who’s struggling, and it can be as simple as lending an ear.  

“You can absolutely save someone’s life just by listening. Just being there with them,  showing them that you care, maybe offering to sit down and have a cup of tea with them,”  she said.  

“It is really important to genuinely listen to the person and give them your full attention. Be  prepared, because it may be a long conversation,” she said.  

Tanya recommended visiting the R U OK? Day website to learn more about how to respond  when someone tells you they are not ok. HealthWISE also runs free Touchpoints workshops,  educating community members on recognising and responding to people at risk of suicide.  

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services. Always call  000 if a life is in danger.

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