“How are you?”
“Fine, thanks. And yourself?”
How often do we have these conversations on autopilot, more of a form of acknowledgement than any real inquiry into how someone is travelling.
September 14 is R U OK? Day, and the Community Hub is hosting a gathering at its place at 282 Rouse St to start a conversation with those who may not be travelling so well.
If nothing else it will be a great opportunity to have a cuppa in a relaxed, friendly environment, with a guarantee of good listeners on hand.
One of the forces at play for someone at risk is that they don’t feel connected to others. It's this lack of connection or lack of belonging that R U OK? wants to prevent.
The national campaign came out of the loss of Gavin Larkin’s much-loved father to suicide in 1995. Gavin became a passionate champion of the fact a conversation could change a life, and protect other families from the pain his endured.
R U OK? says if someone is just not themselves, trust that gut instinct and act on it. Help them open up by asking questions like "How are you going?" or "What’s been happening?"
Listen without judgement and encourage action. It’s also important to check in later to see how they’re getting on.
There is a lot of helpful information at the R U OK? website, including how to handle ‘push back’ when people don’t want to talk.