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It’s R U OK Day and here’s what you can do

It's R U OK Day, and there's never been a more important time to check in with your friends and loved ones. However, before you reach out or share, here's a couple of things to think about.

How are you going?

Before you check in on others, it's a good idea to look after yourself first and don't feel bad for being considerate to yourself. When you help other people, you'd want to give them as much attention as you could. However, if you're not in the right headspace, this can be challenging. Ask yourself, am I willing to actively listen to my friend right now? Do I have the time? If they're not okay, how can I help them? When will be a good time for both my friend and I have to have a chat?

Lots to think about there. If you're not ready, but still want to help, maybe start thinking about someone else in their support network who could talk to them too.

Start small

It can seem like a mammoth task when you don't know where to start and where to go once you ask. R U OK Day created a simple flow chart on how you can tackle difficult conversations. The key is to start small and keep an open mind. Offer help where you can by asking specific actions such as "how can I help" or encourage them to revisit activities they enjoy doing. For example, instead of watching a movie alone, you can do a watch party while in isolation with friends and stay connected through chat or video call. Lastly, don't forget to follow up. Make a time to check-in, whether it's a morning coffee via Facetime or a quick walk in the park (when we can, obviously!).

Other questions you can ask

Last month, we hosted a virtual event with Kalina Silverman, founder of Big Talk. Her 2016 TED Talk on how to skip small talk and connect with anyone has caught the attention of more than six million people worldwide. So here are some questions you can ask your friends to help you establish a stronger connection with them.

  • What are you curious about lately?
  • What makes you feel most alive?
  • What gives you hope?
  • What gives you goosebumps?
  • What is your earliest memory of achievement?

Want more questions? You can find out more on her website.

Useful contacts you can share

When you've done all you could for your friends or yourself, and you think it's time for professional to help to step in, here's who you can contact:

Beyond Blue (24/7)
1300 224 636

Lifeline (24/7)
13 11 14

MensLine (24/7)
1300 78 99 78

Suicide Call Back Services (24/7)
1300 659 467

Online student support hub

While learning in an online environment, it's important to stay connected to your peers, the Institute, and the outside world. Our focus is to ensure that you have access to events, resources, communities, and services, to support you during this time.

Reach out