‘THERE’S MORE TO SAY AFTER R U OK?’

R U OK? Day is Thursday 10 September 2020. It’s our national day of action when we remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support those around us. On the R U OK? Day, we want to help Australians know what to say when someone says they’re not OK and guide them through how they can continue a conversation that could change a life.

A CONVERSATION CAN CHANGE A LIFE

R U OK? inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.
 You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and a great listener.
Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
1. Ask R U OK?
2. Listen
3. Encourage action
4. Check in

RUOK

You don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK. By knowing what to say you can help someone feel supported and access appropriate help long before they’re in crisis, which can make a really positive difference to their life.
Learn what to say after R U OK? and download our FREE resources for tips and ideas to help you share the message in your community. Or follow along here:
There’s more to say after R U OK?

1. Ask R U OK?

Or say something like:
“I’ve noticed a few changes in what you’ve been saying/doing. How are things for you at the moment?”
“I know there’s been some big life changes for you recently. How are you going with that?”
“You don’t seem yourself lately – want to talk about it?”
“Just checking in to see how you’re going?”
“With everything that’s going on, you’ve been on my mind lately, how are you?”
“You’ve got a lot going on right now. How are you doing?”

2. Listen

You could say:
“What’s been happening?”
“Have you been feeling this way for a while?”
“I’m here to listen if you want to talk more.”
“I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like for you, but I’m here to listen to why you feel the way you do.”
“It sounds like that would be really tough. How are you going with managing it?”
“Do you feel like chatting a bit longer? I’m ready to listen.”
“So, what was that like?”
“That’s tough. Keep talking, I’m listening.”
“What you’re going through isn’t easy, It’s good we can talk about it.
“Thank you for sharing this with me. That can’t have been easy for you.”
“Take your time, I’m here for you.”
“If there’s something you’re unsure about sharing with me right now, I just want you to know I’m here when you’re ready?”

3. Encourage action

You could say:
“What do you think is a first step that would help you through this?”
“What can I do right now to support you?”
“Have you spoken to your doctor or another health professional about this? It might be a matter of finding the right fit with someone.”
“Have you had much support around you?”
“What’s something you enjoy doing? Making time for that can really help.”
“Do you think it would help for you to talk to someone else about some of these things, maybe a health professional?”
“Is there anything you’ve tried in the past when you’ve felt like this, that’s made you feel better?”
“I know when I went through something similar, talking to a professional really helped me out. Would you like me to help you book an appointment?”

4. Check in

You could say:
“I would like to keep checking in with you, is that OK?”
“Hey, how have you been since we last chatted?”
“Just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing?”
“Have things improved or changed since we last spoke?”
“What’s been working for you since we last chatted?”
“Is the support we discussed working for you?”
“Do you need more support?”

What if they’re not ready to talk?

If they’re not ready to talk you could say:
“It’s just that you don’t seem like yourself lately.”
“I’m always here if you want to chat.”
“These conversations aren’t always easy but know I’m here
for you anytime you want to talk.”
“Is there someone else you trust that you feel you can talk to?
Would you like me to set this up/come with you?”

What if they say I’m fine?

If they say they’re fine but your gut is telling you they’re not, ask again.
You could say:
“It’s just that you don’t seem yourself lately”
“I know sometimes when I say, ‘I’m fine’ I’m far from it.
Are you really OK?”
“If you’re not ready to talk that’s OK. I’m always here for you.”
Learn what to say after R U OK? and find more conversation tips on our website and in ‘Your guide to what to say after R U OK?’ which you can download at www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
Your guide to supporting R U OK?Day

Your guide to supporting R U OK?Day

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About the author

Lucas is the Founder of Deal With Stuff. Initially, as a father, Lucas became concerned and focused on how his children would navigate the complexities of a new digital world. The lack of truth, trust and personality of this accelerating medium. With a personal mission to make a positive impact on t ... more

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