365 days of R U OK?
Real struggles are experienced by real people, every day, and although Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK Day are behind us for another year, we need to keep having meaningful conversations in our workplaces and wider communities.
We’ve compiled a few ways we can keep up the good work all year round:
- Make time to catch up with mates in person.
- Keep an eye out for others and voice your concerns if you notice a change.
- Practice being a good listener in conversations by making eye contact, having open body language and acknowledging how others feel without judgement.
- Let your colleagues, friends, and family know that you are there for them and that they can be honest with you.
- Continue to make your conversations count by going deeper and asking R U OK?
- Ask another question like, ‘What’s going on for you?’ or ‘How can I help?’
- If the person doesn’t want to talk, let them know you’re always available to listen. You could send them a text or email reiterating your support a while later.
- Be ready if someone isn’t okay. Listen and be curious, without trying to fix their problem. Validate their concerns and encourage them to seek help.
- Put in extra effort during times you know could be difficult for friends who have lost someone (Anniversaries, Birthdays, Christmas).
- Follow up with those who aren’t okay – ‘How have you been since we last spoke?’ Offer to help connect them to support like a GP or other professionals.
- Keep your workplace comfortable for talking about mental health and suicide by supporting those who share with you and starting the conversation.
- Most importantly—look after yourself!
The ultimate message of R U OK Day is one that applies 365 days of the year. It doesn’t have to be a crisis to ask someone you care about if they’re okay—in fact, the earlier we talk about our challenges, the better! Checking in with those around us on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis is something we should all strive for.