Now is the time to ask the people in your world how they are really going, with R U OK Day officially taking place on Thursday, 9 September.
Campaspe Shire Council CEO, Declan Moore said, R U OK? Day aims to inspire and empower people to have meaningfully conversations with others in a supportive environment so people can speak about their own personal struggles.
“This year’s theme is ‘Are they really ok?’, encouraging people to ask the question, but also ask the question again,” Mr Moore said.
There are four simple steps involved in having a conversation that could change a life:
- Ask R U OK? Be relaxed when asking the question and rephrase the question to assist the person to feel comfortable to open up to you eg: “how are you travelling?” OR “what’s been happening?”
- Listen. Have an open mind when listening to their answer, don’t rush or interrupt them, stay calm and show that you have been listening by asking follow up questions eg: “how long have you been feeling like this for?”
- Encourage action. Help the person to think of ways they can manage the situation or suggest taking time out for themselves, ask “what can I do to help you get through this?” and encourage or direct them to seek professional help if necessary.
- Check in. Try to check back in with the person to see how they are going, ask questions like “how have you been coping since last time I spoke to you?” and keep in touch regularly if possible, to show you genuinely care about them. This can make a huge difference.
Council has partnered with Echuca Regional Health, Echuca Community Mental Health, Kyabram District Health Service, Rochester Elmore District Health Service, Campaspe Cohuna Learn Local and Employment, Njernda, Waranga Health, Campaspe Primary Care Partners and Murray River Council.
Together, the group forms a united voice in support of asking R U REALLY OK?, not just on 9 September, but every day of the year.