Trust The Signs & Your Gut Instinct To Ask, ‘R U OK?’


September 10, 2020

This year’s message for R U OK? Day is ‘There is more to say after R U OK’. In learning how we can better support those around us, we aim to empower each other with the tools to continue the conversation after asking ‘R U OK?’

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. The impact of the pandemic, countless natural disasters and other tragedies have been felt on a global scale. There are also the private struggles we all face that may or may not be seen by others. Human connection is vital and, under these circumstances, it is even more important for all of us to feel like we belong. For those who are able, it is essential to be willing to support those around us.

This year’s message for R U OK? Day is ‘There is more to say after R U OK’. In learning how we can better support those around us, we aim to empower each other with the tools to continue the conversation after asking ‘R U OK?’.

Why is it important to trust the signs and our gut instinct when it comes to asking ‘R U OK?’

We have all felt the uneasiness when we have sensed that someone is in struggle. Maybe the person isn’t behaving as they normally would. Or seems out of sorts. When we see these signs of pain or despair, our intuition kicks in. We identify with these honest and raw emotions because they are universal. We have all experienced them, or will at some point. Sometimes the signs are a silent cry for help. When you are flooded with that automatic gut feeling, trust it. Act on it. Ask ‘R U OK?’

We advocate providing support to others by asking this question because, regardless of whether they are an employee, co-worker, loved one or even a complete stranger, we believe it is meaningful to acknowledge others around us and let them know they are seen. We believe and know that giving someone the opportunity and the outlet to share their struggle could save a life.

Through my personal and professional interactions, I strive to create a safe space that enables others to feel comfortable opening up and speak candidly from their heart. I also seek out this quality in others.

Asking this simple question isn’t always easy, and is rarely comfortable, but it could save a life. Suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge all over the world and there are highly credible sources that assert asking ‘R U OK?’ makes a difference. Why is this, you ask? Because, more often than not, someone who is at risk, who is feeling low and a burden to others, lacks connection to others, and feels like they don’t belong. Showing your care and concern can be life changing and help them in ways you couldn’t anticipate.

With this parting message, if you feel compelled to connect with an individual and ask ‘R U OK?’, be prepared for their answer to be ‘no.’ Whether they are ready to talk or not – we encourage you to be prepared to listen. We can’t fix their problems and struggles, however, a willingness to check in regularly, be there and to listen, can go a long way.

Human connection is valuable. Let’s nurture it.

What is R U OK?

R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.

A national campaign created to genuinely change behaviour Australian-wide. R U OK?’s mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.

With goals to boost confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life’s ups and downs, to nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect with others, and strengthen our sense of belonging we can become relevant, strong and dynamic in this thing we call life.

For more information please visit https://www.ruok.org.au/.

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