R U OK Day

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You’ve read the blog post about how to tell if someone you know isn’t okay and what are the warnings signs that they might need a bit of extra help. But you always need to double check, and that can be a daunting task. Approaching someone about his or her mental health is a very sensitive conversation and you might not feel you are up to it. The best thing about asking someone if they are okay, is that you don’t have to have solutions to their problems, you don’t have to be okay yourself, and you don’t have to feel like a hero. Listening is the only thing you need to helping a friend in need.

  1. Getting Ready

Make sure you’re in a good headspace, you can’t help your friend if your not feeling up to it yourself. You’ve got to be open and willing to genuinely listen and make sure you leave enough time for them to talk.

  1. Be prepared

It might be a difficult conversation. It might make them feel embarrassed or angry or resentful. Be prepared for their reaction.

  1. Pick a moment

Private and comfortable are the two most important things. If they cant talk when you want to, ask them for another time.

R U OK Day was launched by Gavin Larkin in 2009 from a documentary about his father suicide. Since then, it has become an international day aiming to raise awareness of mental illness, particularly depression. The idea is to ask a close friend how they are coping in order to create an open dialogue about their mental health.

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