Have you taken the time to check up on those around you lately? RU OK daySometimes we see people struggling, and yet for some reason, we don’t take the time to check in on them. 
Perhaps we’re too shy or can’t find the words. 
We make excuses – it’s not the right time, they’re busy, they were happy yesterday- it must just be a bad day. 
We also let the culture of brushing things under the carpet, keeping the peace and the stigma of mental health issues keep us quiet.

If you or someone you love is struggling right now, you can get help here.

It’s hard to make time for each other.  It’s hard to ask those questions because sometimes we don’t feel like we have the answers, or know what to say.  But, we need to have those conversations.

Today is R U OK day, which is held on the second Thursday in September every year.  It’s a tough day, because it challenges each and every one of us to face each other, and have those sometimes tough conversations.  It’s hard to sometimes admit we need help or aren’t coping.  It’s especially hard to admit this to people we’ve kept a brave face on for.  It’s also tough for many of us, as we remember people we’ve known and loved who have lost their lives to suicide.

 

We need to look out for each other

 

R U OK day is important.   Suicide awareness is important.  We live in a country with enormously high suicide rates.  3,000 Australians suicide every single year.  That’s more than 8 per day.  Very few Australians would be untouched by suicide in some way.  Someone’s brothers, sisters, fathers, sons daughters, friends, colleagues.  It’s a shocking figure.  But the good news is, each and every single one of us has the power to turn those figures around.

By talking about mental health, we help to reduce the stigma of seeking help.  By educating ourselves, our communities, our workplaces, our friends on how we can help each other and look out for each other, we can make a difference.

 

How do you ask if someone is ok?

We’ve all got the power to support one another and look out for each other, and help people who may be struggling with life.  We’ve all got what it takes to navigate that conversation, when someone says, “no, I’m not ok.”  It’s as simple as this

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in.

Sometimes, the issues feel too big for us to deal with.  And that’s ok.  You can help your family and friends to get professional help (see the numbers below).  You can also get support for yourself at ruok.org.au to help you learn how to respond if someone says, “no, I’m not ok”.

If you haven’t already, take the time to check in with someone today.  All it takes is a simple, R U OK?

And please share this with your family and friends, and don’t forget to ask if they’re ok.

 

R U OK? is an Australian suicide prevention charity. Its mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and to support those struggling with life.

 

Find out more: ruok.org.au

Need help? Find help now.

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