R U Ok?

R U OK? Day is an Australian national day which is dedicated to raising awareness and lifting the taboo on mental health. It is a day to remind ourselves that we need to check in on others, as well as our own self. The day encourages those that are struggling silently can open up, and ask for help, from either a peer or professional.

Although this may seem like a simple and small question, it is extremely powerful, and can start an important conversation. Studies have shown that the R U OK? Day continues to be effective in spreading the key messages about the importance of reaching out to others and having conversations that they may not otherwise happen. Through awareness and participation, members of the community are given a safe space to talk and realise that it is okay not to be okay.

This year’s message for R U OK? Day is “Are they really OK? Ask them today”. It is the notion that, do we “really” know how our family, friends, and colleagues are doing? Are we just presuming that they are okay, until they say that they are not on their own accord? We need to practise asking this question as a part of our normal day. Even if the recipient is okay, at least they will know you care.

On September 9th this year, ask somebody if they are okay. Listen to them without judgement and encourage action if you can. This can be done by asking them to see a doctor or another professional. Alternatively, your own support is a great way to start and can really make all the difference. Finally, check in and follow up on them. Stay in touch and be there for them. This small gesture will go very far and can change a life. So, ask them today “Are they really OK?”.

Oh, and also – do not forget to ask yourself if you are okay. Caring for you is as important as caring for others. Find out more at: https://www.ruok.org.au/