Find some time to ask R U OK?
If you think someone you know or care about is struggling with life’s ups and downs, it can be hard to know how to start the conversation. R U OK? Day (Thursday 12th September, 2019) is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone to ask ‘are you ok?’.
By reaching out to someone who is going through a tough time, we can show them they are supported and encourage them to access help sooner.
How do I know if someone is struggling?
It can be difficult to know if someone needs support, especially if they haven’t asked for help. But there are signs you can look out for.
If you spot the signs, trust your gut and ask ‘R U OK?’. Get more tips to help you trust the signs.
How do I prepare myself to ask?
Before you ask if someone is okay, you need to ask yourself three questions:
How do I ask R U OK?
- Ask the question: be relaxed and friendly, and mention specific things that have made you concerned for them. If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise them or push them – you could simply let them know that you are there if they ever do want to talk.
- Listen without judgement: show that you are taking them seriously by not rushing or interrupting them as they speak. If they need time to think, be prepared to sit with the silence. Encourage them to explain by asking open-ended questions, such as ‘how are you feeling about that?’. Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard in your own words.
- Encourage action: ask them what they’ve done in similar situations in the past, or how they would like you to support them. If they have been feeling this way for more than two weeks, encourage them to see a health professional. You can find a comprehensive list of resources on the R U OK? website.
- Check in: put a reminder in your phone to call them in a couple of weeks, or sooner. Ask if they have found a way to manage the situation, but don’t judge them if they need more time, or if they just need to talk at the moment.
If you are worried someone is suicidal, you can contact Lifeline for crisis support. If someone’s life is in danger, call the emergency services on 000.
For more information, support, and resources, please see R U OK?