R U OK? This is an important conversation and one that we need to have as frequently as those around us need. People struggle at all times of the year and checking in with them in November, March and June is just as important. This is a conversation that isn’t defined by the day or the week but by our care for one another.

We also need to keep talking about what we say if someone says they’re not ok. For many of us, we genuinely want to ask R U OK? and we want people to know we care, we’re just unsure of what to say and do if someone isn’t OK.

The team at R U OK? have some amazing tips and resources on their website, as does Beyond Blue (see links below) but I wanted to share four things that I’ve learnt along my life journey that have helped me:

  1. Don’t let the fear of not knowing what to say stop you from reaching out. It’s ok to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what to say or do but I want you know that I care”.
  2. Don’t think they’ve got too much on their plate right now to talk. Yes, they might and they might not answer your call but better for their phone to ring and them to know someone cares then for no-one to call at all.
  3. Its OK to say nothing. Just be there to listen.
  4. Use the resources. I was in a situation where someone very close to me was going through a particularly troubling time. I not only didn’t know what to say or do, but I was also struggling with my own reactions to the situation. I rang the applicable hotline and explained that I was struggling in my role as a support. They were amazing and gave me great advice so that I could better support my loved one.

If you’re supporting someone who isn’t OK then I highly recommend checking out these two links

R U OK? Tips on what / what not to say and

Beyond Blue – Supporting someone with anxiety or depression

If you or anyone you know needs help, then please seek help.