R U OK? Day 2022

Taryn Heinrich

R U OK? Day – Thursday 8th September 2022

Today is our national day of action when we remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, “are you OK?”

In its 13th year, R U OK? Day is now a national movement that encourages and empowers us all to connect with the people in our lives and start a conversation by asking 3 simple words, “Are you OK?”

Working in a small team at IHQ, we are all about supporting each other and having each other’s back. Whether that be support on a professional or personal level, we are always sharing in and celebrating the wins, and also working through the challenges. Checking in and asking each other “Are you OK?” can make all the difference. Quite often, the assistance we can provide to each other, as small as it may seem at times, can mean the world to someone who might be having a tough time. It may be helping out with a full work schedule, moving things around to allow for some time off or maybe just getting them a morning coffee and sitting down for a chat. Whatever it may be, it can make all the difference.

The R U OK? mission is to guide people on when and how to have a meaningful conversation with someone in their world who might be struggling.

Asking isn’t easy, but it could change a life. You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and a great listener. However, before you look out for others, you need to look out for yourself. And that’s OK. To help you decide whether you’re ready to start a meaningful conversation, ask yourself:

Am I ready?

  • Am I in a good headspace?
  • Am I willing to genuinely listen?
  • Can I give as much time as needed?

Am I prepared?

  • Do I understand that if I ask how someone’s going, the answer could be: “No, I’m not”?
  • Do I understand that I can’t “fix” someone’s problems?
  • Do I accept that they might not be ready to talk? Or they might not want to talk to me?

Picked my moment?

  • Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy?
  • Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat?
  • Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?

Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:

  1. Ask
  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach
  • Help them open up by asking questions like “How are you going?” or “What’s been happening?”
  • Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?”
  1. Listen
  • Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation
  • Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them
  • If they need to time to think, sit patiently with the silence
  • Encourage them to explain: “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”
  • Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you have understood them properly
  1. Encourage Action
  • Ask: “What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?”
  • Ask: “How would you like me to support you?”
  • Ask: “What’ something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable and relaxing?
  • You could say: “When I was going through a difficult time, I tried this… You might find it useful too.”
  • If they’ve been feeling really down for more than 2 weeks, encourage them to see a health professional. You could say “It might be useful to link in with someone who can support you. I’m happy to assist you to find the right person to talk to.”
  • Be positive about the role of professionals in getting through tough times
  1. Check in
  • Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner
  • You could say: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to know how you’ve been going since we last chatted.”
  • Ask if they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them. They might just need someone to listen to them for the moment
  • Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference

Information and resources from: www.ruok.org.au


You can also call upon these services for advice and assistance:

Lifeline (24/7)                                                                                                                   1800 RESPECT (24/7)
13 11 14                                                                                                                               1800 737 732
www.lifeline.org.au                                                                                                        www.1800respect.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service (24/7)                                                                              MensLine (24/7)
1300 659 467                                                                                                                    1300 78 99 78
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au                                                                       www.mensline.org.au

Beyond Blue (24/7)                                                                                                         Griefline (6am – midnight)
1300 224 636                                                                                                                    1300 845 745
www.beyondblue.org.au                                                                                             www.griefline.org.au

Kids Helpline (24/7, for youth 5-25)
1800 55 1800

QLife (3pm-midnight)
Anonymous, free LGBTI support
1800 184 52

If a life is in danger or you’re concerned for your own or someone else’s safety, please call 000.

About The Author
Taryn Heinrich

Taryn’s passion is working with businesses and individuals to bring out their best. Taryn developed her HR generalist skills working on investigations, strategic planning, employment contracts, and developing and implementing HR policies and procedures.

Working closely with your business and employees, Taryn has a distinctive talent for setting people up with the tools they need to do their job safely and helping your business operate successfully. If you need help with anything HR related, Taryn is your go-to person!

On the weekend, you’ll find Taryn spending time with her family and friends – she’s always the first to arrive and the last to leave.

For more useful information, follow Taryn on LinkedIn.

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