We have been faced with many challenges as a community over the past few years and sometimes it can be hard to know if people are really ok.
Technology has been a fantastic way to connect with friends, family members and colleagues even when we can’t physically see them, but distance can make it hard to truly know if the people you care about need a bit of extra support.
What is R U OK? Day
R U OK? Day is an important day for mental health recognition and encouraging all people to take the next step to destigmatising mental health by asking “R U OK?”
It can be hard to know if you are ready to offer support to someone else and to know what to do. The main goal of R U OK? Day is to provide people resources on how to confidently and genuinely check up on the people around them and how to offer people a safe space to be honest about their feelings or situation.
How to be a Leader of Change and Ask R U OK?
Ensure you are in the right headspace to ask other people if they need support. It’s important to provide that support to yourself first before you can help others.
If you are ready, prepare yourself for people to admit they might not be feeling so great or understand they might not want to talk. Choose an appropriate time where you can be with the person completely with no limitations or distractions.
Be open minded and approach the situation with no judgement. Remember it’s not your role to ‘fix’ their feelings/situation. You are a support system and an empathetic listener most of all. They might take a while to open up but that’s okay, be comfortable in the silence and encourage them with reassurance.
Ask them how they would like to be shown support and if they have done anything in the past to help with their feelings/situation. Suggesting seeking professional help at the appropriate time and providing an environment with no judgement can be extremely helpful.
To provide ongoing support and show genuine care, be sure to check up on them in a week or two. Ask them how they are going with their feelings/situation. Encourage them for how far they have come and reassure them with your support and understanding.
Not everyone will be OK right away, these things take time and it can be difficult. Being a supportive and non-judgemental friend is a great way to show you care.
Theme of R U OK? Day 2021
The theme is “Are they really ok? Ask today!”
This surrounds the concept that people don’t truly know the struggles of the people closest to them. It can be hard to determine whether someone needs support or to even ask for help yourself.
Patience and trust are a significant aspect of being a support system for someone else or opening up to someone about your own feelings or situation.
It’s never easy, but don’t hesitate to reach out to someone and ask “R U OK?” and encourage their honesty. Just because you might know the person, doesn’t mean you know everything about them which is why it’s important to check on them whenever you can.
If you want to reach out but don’t know who to turn to, contact our team at Veretis for some support or if you want to learn more about instigating change.
This article was adapted from the information on the R U OK website.