This week R U OK? Day reminded us that we all have what it takes to ask “Are You OK?” and support someone in our family, workplace or community who may be struggling with life.
Taking part in R U OK? Day can be as simple as learning the R U OK? four steps so that you can have a conversation that could change a life.
Ask, Listen, Encourage Action & Check In
Visit the R U OK? website for further information on how to prepare for, and engage in a meaningful conversation with those around you who may need your help.
To coincide with this national day of action, we’ve put together our 5 must read mental health posts for R U OK? Day.
10 must read mental health posts
5 Balance celebrities talk about mental health
1. ADAM GOODES – strategies for the Black Dog
2. JESSICA ROWE – helping people with depression
3. JULIE MCCROSSIN – Cancer and depression
4. LYNDALL MITCHELL & SHANNAH KENNEDY – Anxiety strategies: is it a shark or seaweed?
5. NONI HAZELHURST – Why are our children struggling with anxiety?
What is R U OK? Day?
We know that suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge the world over. But we also know that some of the world’s smartest people have been working tirelessly and developed credible theories that suggest there’s power in that simplest of questions – “Are you ok?”
One of the most significant theories is by United States academic, Dr Thomas Joiner. Because his father took his own life, Thomas has dedicated his research to try and answer that question “why?”
His theory tries to answer that complex question by describing three forces at play in someone at risk. The first force is the person thinks they’re a burden on others; the second is that they can withstand a high degree of pain; and the third is they don’t feel connected to others.
It’s this lack of connection (or lack of belonging) that we want to prevent. By inspiring people to take the time to ask “Are you ok?” and listen, we can help people struggling with life feel connected long before they even think about suicide. It all comes down to regular, face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life. And asking “Are you ok?” is a great place to start.
Find out more R U OK? Day