What is RUOK? Day?
RUOK? Day is an Australian national initiative working to inspire everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling. RUOK? Day is held on the 14th of September and is a day dedicated to reminding all of us that we have what it takes to ask those around us “are you ok?”. You can get your work place, school, university, or community involved by downloading one of these starter packs.
Beyond RUOK? day, The RUOK? movement engages in an array of initiatives working to promote connection with those around us. The Conversation Convoy has documented conversations about mental health on the road spanning 14,000km through 20 communities throughout Australia. The One Million Challenge is an initiative providing you with your very own personal challenge to further connect with the people in your life. There are also a range of events that you can attend throughout Australia, or the RUOK? movement will help you create your very own event to help spread awareness.
Why is the RUOK? initiative important?
Suicide prevention is an enormously complex challenge globally. Eight people die from suicide everyday in Australia alone. For every death, it is estimated that 30 people will attempt to take their own life. Dr. Thomas Joiner, at Florida State University described three forces contributing to an individual’s risk of suicide:
1. Feeling as though you are a burden on others
2. Having the means to take your life after experiencing a high degree of pain
3. Feeling disconnected and isolated from others
RUOK? focusses on this third factor, helping people feel more connected, and less isolated. Sadly, many people feel as though they have no one to confide in or to speak to. RUOK? places YOU at the centre of solving the problem and reminds us all that by simple asking “are you ok?”, we are potentially doing more than connecting to those around us. By asking “are you ok?” we may also be changing a friend’s, family member’s, or colleague’s life.
How to ask RUOK?
1. Ask “Are you ok?”
3. Encourage Action
4. Check in
To learn more about RUOK? visit their website here