R U OK? Day and World Suicide Prevention Day provide opportunities for us to check on our friends, family and colleagues. Here at IMPACT Community Services we want to know, "are you okay?"

Today, R U OK? Day and World Suicide Prevention Day both fall within Child Protection Week.

Here at IMPACT Community Services we thought it fitting to speak with our Intensive Family Support unit to identify when someone might need assistance and how they can go about seeking that help.

Rose is a 31-year-old stay at home mother of three who relies heavily on Centrelink assistance to provide for her young family while breeding her purebred dogs for additional income. Her eldest child, 9, has violent behavioural management issues and, along with her 5-year-old, has not been formally diagnosed with a disability. Rose’s 3-month-old is at risk of suffering developmental delays due to the violent nature of the siblings.

She feels isolated, judged by others and is afraid her current situation will never improve. Her biggest fears involve having Child Safety remove her children, the baby’s father taking full custody, and having her children develop criminal behaviour that requires legal intervention.

Rose suffers from her own childhood trauma which has led to her own children being subjected to unhealthy role models and violent tendencies. Without intervention, Rose’s children could spiral into a world of crime, violence, instability and contribute to further intergenerational trauma.

Does this situation sound familiar? Do you know someone in a similar situation who could use a hand up? With the support of IMPACT’s IFS program, Rose would gain a sense of feeling supported and connected in a trusting environment. She would also receive education on parenting to help her support her children and their needs appropriately without the fear of Child Services taking her kids.

Violence and trauma become triggers for larger events. Stop the cycle before it’s too late. R U OK? Start the conversation and be the support someone desperately needs. Ask, listen, encourage action and check in with your friend to follow up with their situation. For more information visit ruok.org.au.

If you are a struggling parent looking for support, phone Family and Child Connect on 13 32 64.

To raise awareness and show your support of suicide prevention, light a candle at a window at 8pm tonight. If you have been affected by suicide and would like someone to talk to, phone the 24-hour Lifeline support service on 13 11 14.

To enquire about support with IMPACT, phone 4153 4233 today.

Artwork: Goreng Goreng artist Rachael Sarra