R U OK? Day | A Conversation That Could Change A Life

Sep 08, 2021by Gabby - F&F

R U OK? Is a national day that acts as a reminder for us to ask our loved ones, "Are you OK?" 

There's no denying that these past two years have been harder than ever to be present and physically there for our family and friends, who struggle with life's ups and downs. 

So today is your reminder, to spark up a conversation! It could be with a close friend, a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, your work colleagues who you might of been chatting to everyday and haven't due to working remotely and your family members! Something as simple as a 'hello' to the people you pass by on a walk outside can make a world of difference too.

What R U OK Day Is All About

In Australia, over 3000 deaths by suicide occur each year.

R U OK is a harm prevention charity. It's all about creating a world where we are all connected and have the people we care about feel safe to speak up. These conversations can ultimately be the difference between life and death. They are there to help people get through tough times, so that their thoughts and feelings aren't left alone and unspoken. 

The overarching mission, is to empower people to invest more time, connect with and lend support to loved ones who need it. This means being more alert to what's going on around them, which all starts by igniting a conversation. If signs of distress, difficulty or personality change is evident, help connect your family and friends to appropriate support before they reach crisis. The following 4 steps below teaches you how to do just this.

How To Ask R U Ok?How To Ask R U Ok?

How To Ask R U OK?

There are many different ways you can ask someone if they are okay, but start by letting them know you have noticed a change. R U OK? Can look like: "I haven't seen much of you lately, how are you going?" Or "You look a bit tired lately, how are things going?" Once you've asked the question, it's your turn to listen with an open mind. Don't rush them. Encourage them to explain and show you've listened by repeating back to them what they've said. You may then ask open ended questions, like "have you been feeling this way for a while?" etc.

Once you've listened, encourage action, to help lighten the load on the way they're feeling. This may be suggesting they see a doctor, or partake in a hobby that makes them happy. After this, it's super important to check in to see how they are doing frequently. This shows them you genuinely care, which can make all the difference.

What You Can DoWhat You Can Do

What You Can Do

Life in lockdown makes it super challenging to be a shoulder to cry on and even harder to hand a tissue for a tear, but there are many other ways you can still show you care.

Start by making a phone call or sending a text, this is also really great to do, for a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in a while. You could also send someone a letter, telling them all the things you love and are grateful for about them. This hits on a deeper level, it shows you took the time to write something meaningful and personal and is a lovely treat to find in your mailbox! You could also send someone a gift. Gifting has been a real act of kindness during covid lockdown. Simply sending someone some flowers, some yummy treats or some goodies from their favourite brand, is not only a thoughtful surprise but a great way to put a smile on their faces and to be reminded that they are in your thoughts.

The conversation doesn't stop with R U OK? It's where it starts! 

R U OK has so many great resources on their website for you to keep the message alive everyday, in all different walks of life. 

This year we are donating to Lifeline, a national charity who provides all Australians with 24 hour access to crisis support and suicide prevention. If you would like to help make a difference, you can donate to Lifeline here.

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