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HomeARCHIVEManly local joins as ambassador for R U OK? Day

Manly local joins as ambassador for R U OK? Day

Thursday, September 8 is R U OK? Day, a National Day of Action and a reminder that every day is a day to check in with your friends, family and colleagues. 

Manly local, Ron Delezio, has signed up as an ambassador for R U OK this year to encourage people to check in with those in their lives that they’ve noticed a change in behaviour with. 

“I know what it’s like to struggle with depression and the feeling of digging a hole so deep that you think you can’t get out off it,” Ron said. 

Manly local, Ron Delezio, has signed up as an ambassador for R U OK this year to encourage people to check in with friends and family

In 2003, Ron’s brave little toddler, who is now 21, captured the hearts of Australians after she survived burns to 85 percent of her body and lost both her legs below the knee and her right hand and ear when an out-of-control car slammed into her Fairlight childcare centre in December 2003. 

Ron’s daughter Sophie Delezio then suffered near-fatal injuries when she was hit by a car in May 2006 at a Seaforth pedestrian crossing. 

“As an ambassador for RUOK, my role is to speak about what it’s like to struggle with depression. As more people become aware of mental illness, we need to start conversations with work colleagues, friends, or relatives, mentioning changes that we have recently noticed.   
“They may have shown signs like being regularly late for work, looking tired from lack of sleep, personal care changes, or being frequently irritable or feeling alone. Let them talk without interruption, and if they are struggling, offer your support,” Ron said. 

When Ron fell into depression, he explained: “I knew that my daughter and my family needed my 100% attention, and when we realised that I was not feeling mentally well, I sought help from a hospital psychiatrist who diagnosed me with depression. I believe that the initial support of friends and family helped me achieve the best outcomes possible.” 

This year, R U OK? is championing the message; ‘Ask R U OK? No qualifications needed, to remind Australians they already have what it takes to support the people in their world who might be struggling. 

Recent research found almost half of (four in ten) Australians felt asking someone ‘are you OK?’ is a conversation better had with an expert, but actually, the research found that when regular, authentic, and genuine R U OK? conversations are happening, and more than 80% of people say they are making a positive difference. 

Ron’s advice to anyone who is suffering from depression is to “seek help from friends and colleagues or medical professionals if needed. Accept the offer of help and know that there are many people that care around you”. 

The Delezio family was lucky to have received overwhelming support from medical professionals, friends, family, and strangers, who had all shared Sophie’s pain and suffering. Since Sophie’s first accident almost two decades ago, the family started its own charity, The Day of Difference, to help raise awareness of the victims of traumatic accidents and the treatment they receive. 

 Conversation tips and crisis support contacts can be found at ruok.org.au 

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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