It's R U OK? Day on Thursday 10th September. It’s a national day of action that raises suicide prevention awareness and advocates for open conversation around this critical issue.
In terms of suggested activities to do on R U OK? Day, here are some to consider:
Wear the colour yellow or a favourite colour on the day, take a photo, and send your picture through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draw or paint something and here is an activity template.
You may wish to use the ‘I feel…..’ graphic below to start a conversation with a person (whether that is a friend or a loved one) to check-in to see how they’re feeling in that moment.
But, what should we do after asking, R U OK? Here are four ways to help someone when you’re the one wanting to start a conversation:
1. Be gentle and considerate in your approach. Start the conversation in a general way like, "You haven't seemed like yourself lately. Is anything on your mind?" or use the above graphic to help start the conversation.
2. Be patient. Even though someone has acknowledged that they're struggling, they might not want to talk about it. In this case, don't force the conversation. Let them know that you'll be there for them when they are ready, or when they feel like having a chat about it.
3. Be empathic. Most people fall into the trap of advice-giving or problem-solving first. Instead really listen, reflect back how they feel, and summarise what they've said.
4. Encourage them to seek professional support. Sometimes it takes more than a loving family, friend, or partner to help someone. Encourage them to speak to their GP if they continue to struggle. Helpful support information