Get your head in the game for R U OK? Day

We all like to be prepared for life’s challenges. This is our little primer for this Thursday’s big event.

This year, we’re learning what to do after we ask the big R U OK? After all, a conversation is more than three words and will take a bit more follow through.

 

TIPS ON HOW TO ASK from ruokay.org.au

ASK R U OK?

  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach. 
  • Help them open up by asking questions like "How are you going?" or "What’s been happening?"  
  • Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like "You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?" 

IF

  • If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise them. 
  • Tell them you’re still concerned about changes in their behaviour and you care about them. 
  • Avoid a confrontation. 
  • You could say: “Please call me if you ever want to chat” or “Is there someone else you’d rather talk to?” 

LISTEN WITH AN OPEN MIND

  • Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them.
  • If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence.
  • Encourage them to explain: "How are you feeling about that?" or "How long have you felt that way?"
  • Show that you've listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you have understood them properly.

ENCOURAGE ACTION

  • Ask: “What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?”
  • Ask: “How would you like me to support you?"
  • Ask: “What’s something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable or relaxing?”
  • You could say: "When I was going through a difficult time, I tried this... You might find it useful too."
  • 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.”
  • Be positive about the role of professionals in getting through tough times. 

IF THEY NEED EXPERT HELP

Some conversations are too big for family and friends to take on alone. If someone’s been really low for more than 2 weeks - or is at risk - please contact a professional as soon as you can.

FIND EXPERT HELP >>

CHECK IN

  • Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they're really struggling, follow up with them sooner.
  • You could say: "I've been thinking of you and wanted to know how you've been going since we last chatted."
  • 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.
  • Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference. 

WORRIED SOMEONE MIGHT BE SUICIDAL?

Contact Lifeline for crisis support. If life is in danger, call 000

What support does Peoplecare offer? 

Peoplecare offers support for mental health on some hospital covers and extras cover. We have detailed information on our mental health page. You can even chat to our experts about how you can use your cover for mental health.

Tip: Don’t forget to reach out to your GP who can connect you with other help and specialists!

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