The purpose of R U OK? Day is to reach out and build community with your neighbours, friends, family, and coworkers and ultimately help take down the suicide epidemic. Researchers have found that a lack of connection with others or an overall lack of belonging can be a huge factor in suicide. So the goal of R U OK? Day is to rebuild that connection, through a simple question.
R U OK?
Although asking a simple question: R U OK? seems trivial, and you might be thinking, “Wait, I ask people how they are doing all the time! Why is this so different?” Many times the “How are you?”s in your daily conversations are more of a greeting then an actual caring question. We all may be surprised if someone actually responded with more than a “I am well. How are you?”
R U OK? Day is a great opportunity to get rid of the formalities and get real. Actually check with the people around you and let them know you care, even if things are not OK. We all deal with the struggles of life and sometimes we just need someone to share it with. R U OK? Day is a great opportunity to bring people together and care for people who need support.
Ready to Participate? And join in on a great cause?
Here are 5 easy steps to prepare you before asking R U OK?
- Make sure you are ready to listen and prepared if the response maybe NO. Ask in a relatively private space and make sure you have time to dedicate to conversation.
- Ask the question. You can mention specifics of things you have noticed in the past, perhaps someone being more quiet then usual. If they don’t want to talk, don’t push the topic, just let them know you are there for them if they do want to talk.
- Listen without judgement. Encourage them to explain themselves without making them feel rushed or judged.
- Encourage action through positivity. Perhaps think of positive traits or past issues they have overcome in the past. Offering a similar story maybe helpful as well. If you feel overwhelmed and concerned that the topic may require expert help, contact a professional. You can find a variety of hotlines at the R U OK website. Remind them that the goal of reaching out to professionals is because you care.
- R U OK? Day doesn’t end on September 14th. Be sure to let them know you care about them everyday. Check in after a couple of weeks, follow up your conversation with a phone call. Remember that genuine care can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Want to do more?
Head on over the the R U OK? Day website to find links to events being held in your area. You can even find ways to volunteer, donate or purchase R U OK? Day merchandise. Take advantage of this wonderful day promoting wellness and community!
If reading about R U OK? Day has inspired you to take charge of your own mental health, you can speak to a professional any day. Before you can ask the question R U OK? you must be OK. If you would like to book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online.