R U OK? Day 2022 – How to Have Life Changing Conversations - 96five Family Radio

R U OK? Day 2022 – How to Have Life Changing Conversations

R U OK? Day is a national day of action to remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, ‘are you OK?’

By Steff WillisThursday 8 Sep 2022TrendingReading Time: 2 minutes

R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives.

R U OK? contributes to suicide prevention efforts by encouraging people to invest more time in their personal relationships and building the capacity of informal support networks – friends, family and colleagues – to be alert to those around them, have a conversation if they identify signs of distress or difficulty and connect someone to appropriate support, long before they’re in crisis.

In 2009, Gavin Larkin chose to champion just one question – “Are you OK?” – to try and prevent the kind of grief he and his family experienced after his father’s suicide.

Gavin remained a passionate champion of the fact a conversation could change a life, even as cancer ended his in 2011. His legacy is a national Conversation Movement that is equipping Australians with the skills and confidence to support those struggling with life.

96five’s Jess Drummond caught up with Kathy Prentice from UniSQ Wellbeing to get some tips for R U OK? Day 2022

“Being really relaxed and friendly in the way you’re approaching them. And then just opening up with simple questions like ‘how are you?’ or ‘what’s been happening?’ Kathy said.

“You can express your concern about someone by saying things like, ‘you really seem less chatty than usual, how are you going?’

“Tell them that you are concerned about changes in their behaviour and you want to assist them.”

R U OK? Day 2022 is encouraging people to have conversations, no qualifications needed.

Kathy acknowledged that people can sometimes feel intimated and feel like they have to have all the answers.

“Often it’s a conversation that people are concerned about undertaking and really it’s about choosing a safe time and place for someone to have that conversation.”

“And then really just ask them, ‘are you okay?’ and not to feel like you have to have the answers. Because there’s so many wonderful services out that you can give people the information about so they can access them.”

R U OK? encourages everyone to use these four simple steps.

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

Kathy advocated for professional help when it’s required.

“I think the really important thing to remember is some of these conversations are really just too big for family and friends to take on alone.”

“If we ask, R U OK? it’s always then about continuing to care and check in on people.”

“I think genuine care and concern for another person really does make a significant difference in their lives”.

For more tips on how to have a life changing conversation on R U OK? Day 2022, visit the website.