“Are you okay?”

 

Thursday, 14 September 2017 is R U OK Day.

On this day, on the Level 2 Exhibition Hall from 10:30am, MIT will be hosting a morning tea for the occasion.

 

We encourage everyone to wear something yellow on the day. Be it a shirt, tie, or ribbon, it all goes towards the cause.

 

We will also be encouraging you to ask each other, or your friends and family this very important question.

 

We know that suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge the world over. But we also know that some of the world’s smartest people have been working tirelessly and developed credible theories that suggest there’s power in that simplest of questions - “Are you ok?”

Before you can look out for others, you need to look out for yourself. And that’s ok. If you're not in the right headspace or you don't think you're the right person to have the conversation, try to think of someone else in their support network who could talk to them.

To help you decide whether you’re ready to start a meaningful conversation, ask yourself

 

1.       Am I ready?

2.       Am I prepared?

3.       Have I picked the right moment?

 

If you have picked the right moment, it’s as simple as doing the following;

 

1.       Ask the struggling person – “Are you okay?” If they don’t want to chat, don’t force the issue. Let them come to you when they feel comfortable. Let them know you are available to chat.

2.       Listen without judgment. This can be tricky, but take everything they tell you seriously, and do not interrupt them. Let them speak.

3.       Encourage further action. If they have a serious issue, point them in the right direction. Encourage them to see a health care professional, a counsellor, or what you believe is best.

4.       Check in. After the discussion, check in periodically with the person, and ask how they are doing. It could make a huge difference to follow up.

 

You can find more information about this important issue here: https://www.ruok.org.au/