There’s more to say after R U OK? Day

‘There’s more to say after R U OK?’, was the message this year which focused on building confidence and increasing skills for people to know how to navigate a conversation with someone in their life who might be struggling.

For many, 2020 has been an extremely challenging time, with COVID-19 impacting across the globe, very few have been left untouched by the spread of the virus and its associated impacts.  This year, R U OK? Day coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day which raised further awareness of the scale of suicide globally and the role that each of us can play in prevention efforts.

Our Binah team came together on September 10 to support each other and have the conversations that matter. We spoke about the type of conversations we can start, not just on that day, but always.

1. Ask R U OK?

Ask R U OK?

Or say something like:

“I’ve noticed a few changes in what you’ve been saying/doing.

How are things for you at the moment?”

“I know there’s been some big life changes for you recently. How are you going with that?”

“You don’t seem yourself lately – want to talk about it?”

“Just checking in to see how you’re going?”

“With everything that’s going on, you’ve been on my mind lately, how are you?”

2. Listen

You could say:

“What’s been happening?”

“Have you been feeling this way for a while?”

“I’m here to listen if you want to talk more.”

 “I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like for you, but I’m here to listen to why you feel the way you do.”

“It sounds like that would be really tough. How are you going with managing it?”

“Do you feel like chatting a bit longer? I’m ready to listen.”

 “So, what was that like?” “That’s tough. Keep talking, I’m listening.”

“What you’re going through isn’t easy, It’s good we can talk about it.

“Thank you for sharing this with me.”

3. Encourage Action

You could say:

“What do you think is a first step that would help you through this?”

“What can I do right now to support you?”

“Have you spoken to your doctor or another health professional about this? It might be a matter of finding the right fit with someone.”

 “Have you had much support around you?”

 “What’s something you enjoy doing? Making time for that can really help.” “Do you think it would help for you to talk to someone else about some of these things, maybe a health professional?”

 “Is there anything you’ve tried in the past when you’ve felt like this, that’s made you feel better?”

“I know when I went through something similar, talking to a professional really helped me out. Would you like me to help you book an appointment?”

4. Check in

You could say:

“I would like to keep checking in with you, is that OK?”

“Hey, how have you been since we last chatted?”

“Just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing?”

 “Have things improved or changed since we last spoke?”

“What’s been working for you since we last chatted?”

“Is the support we discussed working for you?”

Now that we have some tools to help others, how can we support our own mental health?

Now that we have some tools to help others, how can we support our own mental health?

The construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. By bringing awareness to mental health and continuing the conversation with each other, we aim to change the statistics and make a difference. The mental health impacts of recent times are very real, and in the lead up to RUOK day, here’s a few suggestions for managing our own thoughts and actions in stressful times.

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Manage your exposure to media coverage

As this can increase feelings of fear and anxiety. Be mindful of sources of information and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information.

Follow a “calm yet cautious” approach

Do your best to remain calm and be mindful not to contribute to the widespread panic that can hinder efforts to positively manage stressful events. Ensure you are following directives issued by the government, medical advice and continue to observe good hygiene habits.

Show compassion and kindness to one another

These times of fear, isolation (both physical and social), and uncertainty are when it is most important that we strengthen our sense of community by connecting with and supporting each other. Remind ourselves that we can manage this much better together in solidarity and that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality, or ethnicity.

Actively manage your wellbeing

By maintaining routines where possible, connect with family and friends (even if not in person), staying physically active, eating nutritious foods and seeking additional support by contacting Lifeline or further professional support as required.  

We want our Binah team to be confident in having meaningful conversations, and if someone says they’re not OK, we want to make time to listen with an open mind, encourage action and regularly follow up.

If you know of someone in an immediate crisis or needing emotional support you can contact:

Lifeline (24/7) 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service (24/7) 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue (24/7) 1300 224 636

Kids Helpline (24/7) 1800 55 1800