12 September 2019
Today is R U OK? Day. The day is observed to support people struggling with life and to encourage them to connect with the people around them, to have regular face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life and to encourage action.
There are a number of signs that may indicate that a person is struggling, including what they are saying, what they are doing and what is going on in their life.
A person may say that they are lonely or are confused and irrational. They may be demonstrating mood swings, changing their online behaviour or are unable to concentrate. They may be experiencing relationship issues, work pressure or financial difficulties.
This year, R U OK? are calling on Australia to: Trust the Signs, Trust your Gut and Ask R U OK?
Starting these conversations can be difficult, however, R U OK? have many excellent resources on their website that provide advice on how to start the conversation.
R U OK? outline a 4 step process to adopt when speaking with a family member, friend or workmate that you think is struggling:
- Ask R U OK? – Ask questions like “I’ve notice you haven’t been yourself lately. How are you travelling?” Make an observation like “You seem less chatty than usual, how are you going?”
- Listen – Encourage them to explain what’s going on and how they’re feeling. Let them know you are asking because you’re concerned.
- Encourage action – Suggest ways to take action, including how you can help personally, talking to family member, a trusted friend or medical professional.
- Check in – Follow up with the person a few days after the initial conversation, ask how they are going and reinforce the benefits of seeking help.
For more information about R U OK? Day or to access their very useful resources, please visit the R U OK? website. The conversation you have today could make a massive difference to someone’s life.