R U OK? Day History
R U OK? Day launched in 2009.
Aussie Gavin Larkin decided it was time to create a space to start conversations, albeit uncomfortable, and break the silence around mental health and suicide. Gavin sadly lost his father to suicide in 1995.
He had a vision for an event or day where people could come together and feel safe, encouraged, and confident to start conversations with people who might be struggling.
R U OK? Day became Gavin’s mission.
Sadly, Gavin passed away in 2011 from an aggressive form of bone cancer, but the incredible work he started has created an impact far and wide and on this day every year it becomes the most important question that we can all ask someone.
Are they really OK? Ask them today.
The theme for R U OK? Day 2021 is Are they really OK? Ask them today.
Are the people around us really OK? Our friends, family, workmates, the person who makes our morning latte every single day! We are all busy, that is true, but never too busy to ask someone how they are doing.
Life is full of struggles, but a conversation could change a life.
Asking the question
How are you doing? Are you ok?
We often forget to ask ourselves that. In the midst of everyday life, work, family, kids, and whatever else comes our way, our own mental health can often be deprioritised.
Before you reach out to support someone else, make sure you are in a good headspace.
The R U OK website has tons of dedicated resources to help you prepare to support someone but here are the four most important ways to ask someone R U OK?
1: Asking R U OK? Take a deep breath, be friendly and relax.
2: Listen with empathy. Do not pass judgement.
3: Encourage action. Suggest they speak to a professional or ask them how they have managed moments like these in the past.
4: Check-in. Stay in touch.
For more resources go to the official R U OK? Day website
About the Author
Genie is a passionate writer, soon to be author, and one of the cogs that keep the machine turning here at Flabbergast.
Hailing from Ireland, she opted for a backpack and round the world ticket in 2010 and managed to stumble across Melbourne on her adventures. She loves to create funny, upbeat content that brings the story of any brand to life before your very eyes. When she is not busy finding new and interesting ways to inject a little WOW into content, she can be found fan-girling on Brené Brown or spoiling her two dogs!