RU OK? Day
R U OK? Day is our national day of action dedicated to encouraging everyone to connect with the people they care about and giving them the skills to have a conversation with someone they’re worried about. Taking part can be as simple as asking your friends, family and colleagues, “are you ok?”
It has been my experience that when people do need help, they are reluctant to speak up for many reasons. Likewise, it is not always possible from just looking at them to gauge that they need support. It’s not like they walk around with a neon sign above their head flashing the words I’M NOT OKAY.
RU OK? DAY is aimed at starting life-changing conversations with those around you. Most importantly, you don’t have to wait for one day a year to ask the question. Following are my thoughts for starting a conversation or supporting someone through tough times.
- Just ask – sometimes the direct approach is the easiest.
- Get a group together and share stories about what has helped when they have struggled – being able to listen to others can help the person realise that they are not alone.
- Remember that not everyone experiences and processes things the same way you do. Everyone has their triggers and stresses and the key is listen without judging.
- Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer. Just reassure them that you are willing to listen and help them find the answers they need.
Finally, if you are struggling and someone asks if you are okay, it is okay to say no. You are not alone. It doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t mean you a drama queen. It makes you a person who for whatever reason needs a little support. Speak up, because we care.
Kerri Schulz | The Money Edge | Bundaberg