This question has received a great deal of exposure in recent years thanks to the efforts of the R U OK? Suicide prevention charity in Australia encourages all to notice the signs of mental health struggle in friends, family, and colleagues.
But sometimes, just hanging out with a mate isn’t enough. When a mate is going through a tough time, we may need to ask Are You OK?
Many people avoid asking because they feel uncomfortable about what might come next, or how to respond to what might come next.
You don’t have to have all the answers, a couple of ears is the key component.
- Encourage action
Having a difficult conversation starts by asking and listening without judgment. Being a sounding board, acknowledging that your mate’s feelings are perfectly valid.
When you notice a change in someone, start a conversation that could save a life.
If you think you, or someone you know, has a mental health condition, see your GP for a referral to a mental health professional.