Today is RU Okay day a day where people check in with each other and sure each other are okay. However, don’t make your check in feel like an obligation. If someone is not feeling okay take a moment to stop and genuinely listen. It doesn’t cost much to take ten minutes to listen and let someone just talk.
This year’s theme is that you do’t need to be an expert to ask someone if they are okay. You don’t have to have all the answers. What is important is that if you notice that someone may not seem quite like themselves, is taking a moment to ask how they are.
While everyone feels stress from time to time, when it persists for two weeks or longer it impacts upon your ability to function and eventually causes you serious illness. RU Okay Day on 9 September 2021 is a timely reminder for everyone to stop and check in with each other.
The RU Okay website provides some great resources on the different ways to ask your colleagues, friends and family if they are okay through the acronym ALEC.
ALEC stands for:
A – Ask the question,
L – Listen,
E- Encourage Action,
C – Check in.
Talking about mental health is encouraged as many are impacted by mental illness, whether for themselves or those they know, and it is critical that the stigma is removed. When people feel safe to talk about mental illness, it is a step towards progress. When people receive treatment early, they are more likely to continue treatment and recover.
Use this framework as a guide to assist your conversations.
It is important to create a culture of open conversations in the community so that people do feel like it is okay to not be okay.
When you look after people, they will feel valued, engaged, productive and will want to participate in life. They feel like they can move forward and live the best life they dream of.