Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2019

R U OK day 2019: What is RU OK day – How it’s helping global depression battle | World | News

Discussions about mental health are becoming more and more common, as people open up about their struggles with the taboo subject. But many people around the world still feel they can’t confide in anyone about their problems. The R U OK Day in Australia was designed to address this – but what does the day really mean and what does it do to help?

What is R U OK Day?

The R U OK Day was created in a bid to highlight the hidden struggles thousands of people go through with mental health – not just on one day, but every day of the year.

The aim of the day is to remind everyone to ask “Are you OK?” and to remember to support people who “may be struggling with life’s ups and downs”.

The charity website says: “Got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would?

“Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves.

“Trust that gut instinct and act on it.”

The charity adds: “By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up.

“If they say they are not ok, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load.

“If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.”

So what does the charity behind R U OK Day actually do to help?

R U OK Day aims to get people asking questions – reaching out to their loved ones to strike up a conversation and see how their friend or family member is really doing.

The website has a host of useful tools to design to help anyone who wants to help someone who may be struggling.

The site even includes resources for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. which will help students everywhere start a conversation.

They are also encouraging everyone to Trust the Signs, Trust your Gut & Ask R U OK?

Anyone who might be worried about family, friends or colleagues can access the interactive conversation scenarios on their Google Home or Google Assistant enabled smartphone or device by simply saying “Hey Google, talk to RUOK Mate”.

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton says it’s important to deliver the R U OK? message to people in ways that keep pace with changing technology.

She added: “We know the majority of Australians believe talking to someone who’s struggling can make a difference. We are focused on building confidence in people, so they know when and how to have an R U OK? conversation.

“It’s vital we utilise new ways to build that confidence and ‘RUOK Mate’ has the potential to do that in a way that we have not seen before.

“We hope to empower people to trust their gut instinct and ask the question as soon as they spot the signs that someone might be struggling with life.”

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