We live in unusual times, and there is no doubt that 2021 has been a challenging year. Between work, the stresses of home life and the uncertainty of COVID, it’s safe to say we could all use a little helping hand. While asking someone R U OK? is important, it can also be a difficult question to pose. There are important steps that follow this conversation – knowing how to manage these can feel a little overwhelming. Humanity Health Group’s clinical leads outline simple ways you can approach this conversation below:

  • Simply ask “Are you ok?” or “How have you been doing” to start a conversation
  • Listen with an open mind, and actively listen.
  • Be prepared to listen – you don’t need to solve the problem.
  • Don’t rush, or interrupt.
  • Use encouragers to help to deepen the conversation.
  • Check your understanding and show you’ve listened by repeating back what you have heard and asking if you have understood correctly.

You don’t need to be an expert to keep the conversation going if someone says they aren’t ok. By knowing how to listen, and what to say, you can help others feel supported to access help long before they’re in a crisis. You can use the following questions as helpful prompts:

  • What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?
  • How would you like me to support you?
  • Have you spoken to your doctor or a health professional about these feelings?

Showing genuine care and concern can make a real difference, and in the current climate, asking a simple question has never been more important.

If you notice continued signs of distress, kindly encourage help seeking support from a health professional. You could say, ‘It might be useful to link in with someone who you can chat to more about this – I’m happy to help you find the right person to talk to, if you’d like?”

If someone has indicated that they are struggling, the following services can provide additional help.

  • Emergency services if there is threat of danger to yourself or others (000)
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (ONLINE CHAT: https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat/)
  • Suicide call back service 1300 659 467
  • GP (mental health plan)
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Psychologists at Accelerate Health 1300 407 340
  • EAP services within your organisation
  • Your local doctor

Should you, or someone you know, need additional support then please contact our friendly team. Our registered allied health professionals can support you, and those you love.