House debates

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Statements by Members

R U OK? Day

1:36 pm

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd just like to say that so often we have these badges on and, really, they are just generic even though the cause is so noble. But for this one, R U OK?, I very much support it. There was a time in this job when I was under an immense amount of pressure. I remember going back to the waiting room of my electoral office and there were two guys I play football with waiting for me there. They said, 'We want to talk, Joycey.' My name is always 'Joycey', never 'Barnaby'. They said: 'Joycey, we want to talk to you, and it's not about going fishing. We've been watching you, and basically you need to get some help.'

We can be under pressure in this place. You can be under the pump. It can go for months, as you probably know that at one time for me it did. But it's also for other people. You have to give people the space to express how they are feeling when at the extremity there is the issue of suicide. People who commit suicide don't tell you they are going to commit suicide. Unfortunately, they get their head into a space where they are quite happy with where they're going. The difference between that tragedy for the family and everything else is you asking them if they are okay.