Are you okay? A three-word question that can change someone’s outlook, that can make them feel better and may even save their life.
Almost 3 million Australians suffer from depression and/or anxiety which effect their wellbeing, relationships, careers and productivity. It is our job as a friend or a family member or even a stranger to ask them “R U OK?”
In 1995 Gavin Larkin (founder) would experience the horrible tragedy of his own father’s suicide. It is estimated in a 12-month period 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt, with an average 2,320 people sadly succeeding every year. But Gavin Larkin would be a man who stepped up and helped those in need and in 2009 we saw the co-creation, with Janina Nearn, of “R U OK? Day.” Since its inception many Australian A-listers would put their hands up to become ambassadors and supporters of the great cause, with names such as, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, Roy Asotasi (Former Rabbitoh Co-captain), Wendell Sailor (Former Rugby league player) and Olympic Gold Medallist Libby Trickett. They should all be recognised for their outstanding work with this great organisation.
R U OK? DAY takes place on the second Thursday of every September and it is a day dedicated to reminds us to ask friends, co-workers, family members and even strangers a simple question, “Are you okay?” In 2009, it was reported that because of the campaign 650,000 conversations had taken place. The R U OK? DAY organisation says there are 4 steps to asking the question and also checking up, Ask, Listen, Encourage Action and Checking In. You have the potential to help someone in need and give them a different outlook on life, so why not ask this simple but life changing question. R U OK?
It is very easy to get involved and get people you know to participate, you can get on to the R U OK? Day website and download some of their presentation pack. There are different packs you can access which are, Work Pack, School Pack, Uni/TAFE Pack and Community Pack. These packs include, Posters, Screen Savers, Presentations and many more helpful things to get you and people you know to participate in this wonderful event. You can also head over to their website and donate to a great cause or you buy some of their merchandise with their great message printed on it.
No one should ever have to go through depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts alone. You can be the voice the helps someone in need and potentially save a life just by asking them “Are you okay?”
This great event took place on the 14th of September so organise your family, friends and co-workers to get involved and start saving lives.