It’s important to check in regularly with the people around you.Do you get the sense that someone you know or care about is acting out of character? Maybe you notice a change in their behavior—restlessness, withdrawal, or simply not being their usual self.Whether that be loved ones, colleagues, neighbors or your 6am gym buddy, sometimes starting a simple conversation is enough to save a life. Let’s ask, R U OK?
First, in order to have an impactful and meaningful conversation, it’s important to approach the question with mindfulness, considering both the well-beingof the person you are speaking to – as well as your own mental state.
Here are a few tips to ask yourself to assist in creating a safe, open dialogue:
Are you feeling ready?
Am I in a good headspace?
Am I willing to genuinely listen?
Can I give as much time as needed?
Are you feeling prepared?
Do I understand that if I ask how someone’s going, the answer could be: “No, I’m not”?
Do I understand that I can’t ‘fix’ someone’s problems?
Do I accept that they might not be ready to talk? Or they might not want to talk to me?
Is this the right moment?
Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy?
Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat?
Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?
Take the opportunity this September 14 to check in with your community and ask, RU OK? Remember to listen with an open mind and regularly check in with them in the following weeks and months to encourage ongoing, safe and encouraging communication. Don’t forget, RU OK? can be asked any day of the year.