There’s more to say after RUOK?
R U OK? Day is a national day of action reminding people that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?”
‘There’s more to say after R U OK?’ is the message for 2020, with a focus on building people’s confidence and increased skills so they can navigate a conversation with someone who might be struggling.
Being aware of those around you, checking in with people and asking how they’re doing and genuinely listening to what they say, we can help those who may feel less connected or who might be struggling with life.
This year R U OK? Day coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day which will further raise awareness of the scale of suicide globally and the role that each of us can play in prevention efforts.
Suicide prevention is a complex and sensitive issue. You don’t need to be an expert though to keep the conversation going and support someone in need. You can familiarize yourself with what to say after you hear ‘No, I’m not OK’ and to keep the conversation going if they tell you they’re not coping.
A lack of connection, or belonging, is a key contributor to depression. Regular face-to-face conversations about how people are is a great place to start. And knowing what to say and where to direct them for more help after they share something difficult with you can help someone feel supported.
Katherine Newton, CEO, R U OK?, acknowledges that 2020 has been a challenging year and ongoing COVID measures such as social distancing, border closures and working from home have made it even more important for us to stay connected.
“Time is one of the most valuable things we can share with the people that we care about,” said Newton. “When someone in your life is struggling it’s natural to ask them if they’re OK but it can sometimes be difficult to know what to say next.”
Recent data demonstrates that Australians are getting better at understanding how important it is for them to reach out to those around them who might be struggling. There’s still a way to go though, with 31% of Australians reporting a lack of confidence or being unsure how to have a conversation with someone who is not OK.
If you’re hosting an event, either in person or online, you can register your R U OK? activities. R U OK? Organisation will help by sending you a digital kit which includes a poster, conversation guide, and event ideas and tips. These tools are designed to help individuals, workplaces, schools and community groups learn what to say after “Are you OK?” and how to break down fears or concerns someone might be feeling when approaching a meaningful conversation with a family member, friend or colleague.
All resources can be downloaded free from the website, whether you are hosting an event or not. And there’s a range of merchandise available as well including t-shirts, wristbands, conversations cards and more, with all proceeds from sales supporting the organisation.
The R U OK? vision is a world where people are connected and protected from suicide. Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect and support those who may be struggling with life.
Remember, a conversation could change a life. Learn what to say after you’ve asked the question R U OK?