R U OK? Day 2023 falls on Thursday, September 14, and serves as our national day of collective action. On this day, we remind everyone that any day is the right day to ask, “Are you OK?” and initiate a meaningful conversation when we perceive signs that someone, we care about may be dealing with life’s challenges.
This nationwide campaign also presents an opportunity to raise awareness and educate our wider communities on the significance of posing questions, actively listening, motivating action, and regularly checking in on individuals.
By dedicating time to engage in an R U OK? conversation and approaching it with an open mind, we can collectively provide support and foster connections in our immediate circles. Let those within your sphere know that you’re available to truly listen, because a conversation has the power to transform a life.
It is crucial to check in with your family, friends, colleagues, or anyone you know and inquire about their well being. As humans, we navigate life’s highs and lows, both major and minor, and sometimes, a simple inquiry like “Are you OK?” or “What’s on your mind?” can have a profound impact on someone’s life.
Asking this question might sometimes feel daunting, and you might be uncertain about when to approach someone. However, there is no ‘right’ time or ‘right’ question. What matters is asking the question with sensitivity and respect, and being understanding if the person chooses not to engage in conversation at that moment.
If someone confides in you that they are going through a difficult period, the best course of action is to be an attentive listener, ask supportive questions, and offer your assistance. Make sure to convey that they are in a ‘safe space’ and inquire if they have considered speaking to a mental health professional.
You can also guide people towards valuable resources if they require support or are interested in participating in personalised mental health programs.
Remember the profound impact that a simple question like “Are you OK?” can have on someone’s life. Even the smallest gesture of concern can make a significant difference.
To raise awareness for mental health awareness, our Casino team held a free pancake breakfast for the community at the Casino Neighbourhood Centre. It was a wonderful opportunity for new and familiar faces to check in with each other and enjoy a yarn.