That was the phrase that we were all urged to ask others today as a part of R U OK? day.
It got me thinking about how often people ask each other “How are you?” in passing without really caring about the response and how we answer instinctively, “I’m fine”, irrespective of how we are really feeling. How we all conform to social niceties without actually being nice. Asking someone if they are OK is more than just asking the question, it is about wanting to know the answer and taking the time to listen.
This is taken directly from ruokday.com.au
Thursday 7 October, 2010 is R U OK?Day. A national day of action that aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones.
On that day we want everyone across the country, from all backgrounds and walks of life, to ask family, friends and colleagues: “Are you OK?”.
Because staying connected with others is crucial to our general health and wellbeing. Feelings of isolation and being alone are major contributing factors to depression and social issues that can ultimately result in suicide. Regular, meaningful conversations can protect those we know and love.
It’s so simple but in the time it takes to have a coffee, you can start a conversation that could change a life.
Research shows that talking about suicide with someone at risk actually reduces the chance of them taking their own life. It is the one thing we can all do to make a real difference.
In my work I know just how important such a simple question, when asked with meaning, can have such a huge impact on those around us. Talk to the people who are important in our lives; talk to our families, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours. Ask the question and actually listen to the answer.
So I now ask you, and are you OK?