R U Ok? A Conversation Could Change a Life!
R U OK is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save lives.
Got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it.
By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up. If they say they are not ok, you can follow the following conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
ASK R U OK?
- Help them open up by asking questions like “How are you going?” or “What’s been happening?”
LISTEN WITHOUT JUDGEMENT
- Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them.
- Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation.
- Ask: “How would you like me to support you?”
- If they’ve been feeling really down for more than 2 weeks, encourage them to see a health professional. You could say, “It might be useful to link in with someone who can support you. I’m happy to assist you to find the right person to talk to.”
- Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner.
- Ask if they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them. They might just need someone to listen to them for the moment.
If you are worried that they might be suicidal,Contact Lifeline www.lifeline.org.au for crisis support. If a life is in danger, call 000.