Have you recently or indeed today asked this question: RU OK? If you have and the reply is "No I'm Not", where did the conversation go after that?
Today (10/09/2020) is RU OK Day.
For nearly a year, thanks to fires, floods and now COVID-19, it’s fair to say that a lot of people are not OK. Whether they’ve been directly or indirectly affected by these disasters, the knock on effect it is having on us in every area of our lives – physically, financially, socially and emotionally – is undeniable, which is why RU OK Day? (in its 10th year) is more important than ever.
The team at R U OK? has put together some resources to unpack their four step conversation model of ask, listen, encourage action and check in. They have compiled simple phrases and open ended questions to help you navigate a difficult conversation with someone who might be struggling right now.
Included below are some examples but you can find a more exhaustive list on their website at ruok.org.au as well as some free resources, posters and social media tiles to download and share in your workplace, at home and online.
Getting involved in R U OK?Day may be as simple as letting people around you know that you’re there for them if they need a friendly ear. You don’t have to have the answer to their problems. You just need to stand alongside them and be there.
Helping someone navigate life’s ups and downs at the moment may take a little more homework on to make sure you are ready for whatever they’ve got to say. We can and will get through this – together.
3BA Bigshow host PT spoke with RUOK? Champion Poppy Griffiths.
R U OK? – Your guide to what to say next
There’s more to say after R U OK?
- Ask R U OK?
There are many ways to start a conversation that could change a life. You could say:
- “I know there’s been some big life changes for you recently, how are you going with that?
- “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?”
Help them open up and share what’s going on for them. You could say:
- “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.”
- “What you're going through isn’t easy, I'm glad 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.”
- Encourage action
Once they’ve opened up, encourage them to access support or to do something that might make the load a bit lighter. 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?”
- “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?”
- Check in
Remember to check in a few days later to see how the person is doing. You could say:
- “Just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing?”
- “Have things improved or changed since we last spoke?”
- “Is the support we discussed working for you?”
- “Do you need more support?”
Visit ruok.org.au to find out more.
Lifeline - 131114