Ask R U OK? No qualifications needed

“Are you OK?” These three small words could make a difference for those closest to you.

R U OK? Day is on Thursday 8 September this year – a timely reminder to make asking the simple question “Are you OK?” part of regular conversations with loved ones.

This year’s theme is Ask R U OK? No qualifications needed. You don’t need to be an expert to have an R U OK? conversation. Listening and giving someone your time might be just what they need to help them through.

Council is encouraging everyone in our community to reach out to those around them and seek to create meaningful, ongoing connections related to wellbeing.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Mike Symon, said despite more opportunities to connect with family and friends in person this year, it is still just as important to check in.

“While 2022 has seen more opportunities for social gatherings and face-to-face events, the last few years have been challenging in lots of ways and those closest to us could still be struggling.

“It can be hard to start these difficult conversations, but it is so important that they take place and that we listen to what our loved ones are saying,” Cr Symon said.

“If they don’t want to talk, let them know you’re here for them when they are ready, or suggest they talk with someone they’re more comfortable with, such as a close friend or their GP.”

Questions you may consider asking include:

  • I haven’t seen much of you lately. Is everything OK?
  • So, how are you travelling these days?
  • You’ve seemed a bit tired lately. How are things going?

It may not always be obvious that someone needs help. Some signs to look out for include changes in:

  • What they are saying, such as sounding confused, irrational or moody, or expressing concerns about being a burden to others
  • What they are doing, such as becoming withdrawn or losing interest in things they used to love
  • What is happening in their life, such as relationship problems, work pressure, or the loss of someone or something they care about
  • The earlier you provide a chance for someone to open up, the sooner they can find appropriate support.

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