Thursday September 15 is ‘R U OK?’ Day, a national day of action to help prevent suicide. Sadly an average of 2100 people die in Australia each year from suicide. The ‘R U OK?’ Day campaign to raise awareness was initiated in Australia in 2009. Australians are encouraged to check in with someone they care about and ask “Are you okay?”
Director of the campaign Graeme Cowan explains the purpose of the day, “So many people who are at risk suffer in silence. Saving someone’s life can be as easy as a meaningful conversation over a cup of coffee, which is what R U OK? Day is about.”
Cowan suggests we take the time to check in with a relative, colleague, neighbour or friend who might be in need. Take the time to connect with them through a general friendly conversation somewhere quiet and private. Ask open ended questions and listen without judgement. Suggest and help them to to get help if you think they’re in need. Lifeline can offer guidance on 13 11 14.
In today’s world we can be too busy to take the time to connect. R U OK? Day is a timely reminder.