R U OK? are calling on Australians in rural and remote communities to let the people they care about know; ‘I’m here to hear’, every day of the year. AgForce are hosting a morning tea on Thursday with staff members encouraged to wear the new AgForce Trademutt shirts (TIACS) and start a conversation, that they are ‘here to hear’.
R U OK? have dedicated resources to help you have a meaningful conversation with someone who's doing it tough in rural and remote areas. The Mateship Manual is a simple guide with practical tips and is available free at ruok.org.au.
R U OK? Community Ambassador Paul Turner, 70, understands first-hand how important it is to have an authentic conversation with someone close to you, who makes time to take notice and really listen.
“Since I was a teenager, I have had thoughts of suicide,” said Mr Turner who works as a counsellor in the greater Darwin area. “In the last four years, I had a turnaround experience where someone asked me, in essence, ‘are you OK?’ and it gave me permission to reflect on what had been going on in my life.
"Now I don't hear those thoughts in my mind. I don't experience those thoughts anymore and I am forever grateful that I was able to move through that.”
Mr Turner’s experience reinforces how showing genuine interest and concern when you ask someone, ‘are you OK?’ can encourage a meaningful conversation.
“You need to ask this question because you mean it. If you really care and want to hear an honest answer, be genuine with your ask, make space to listen and let the person know you’re sticking around for whatever comes next,” said Katherine Newton, R U OK? CEO.
“We know the positive impact an R U OK? conversation have when people know and trust each other. This usually means that trust has been built over time, they’re familiar with each other’s routines and behaviours, and they likely know what’s going on in each other’s lives. This trust, along with consideration of the where and when a conversation will take place contributes to making an R U OK? conversation truly meaningful.”
Let the people in your world know you’re here, to really hear, because a conversation could change a life.
You can find FREE resources at ruok.org.au to help you know when and how to ask, ‘are you OK?’ in your workplace, school and community, every day of the year.
For support at any time of day or night, Lifeline provides free and confidential crisis support. Call 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online at: lifeline.org.au.
Mensline offer free 24/7 support for by telephone and online for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. Call 1300 78 99 78 or chat online at: mensline.org.au.
13YARN is a free 24/7 service offering crisis support for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. Call 13YARN (13 92 76).