Thursday 14 September 2023 is RU Okay day a day where people check in with each other and sure each other are okay. Of course, every day we should be checking in with those we care about or when we notice someone is not feeling okay. However, RU Okay day puts a focus on the challenges many face with mental stress each day.
This year’s theme is “I’m here to hear”. Taking five minutes out of your busy day to ask someone if they are okay is priceless. It also may by timely as many may not want to admit they are feeling down.
A simple question and a little time for a conversation could change a life.
And no, you don’t have to be an expert to have a conversation. The important part is in the listening – with genuine interest and compassion. 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 it impacts upon your ability to function and eventually causes you serious illness.
RU Okay day on Thursday 14 September 2023 is a timely reminder for everyone to stop for five minutes 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.