As I dropped my children to school they were handing out wristbands for the R U Ok? day. Of course, what came with that was the smiling question R U Ok? To which I noticed the answer was always a cherpie, Yes, R U Ok? A giggle and people moved on.
It occurred to me that maybe a lot of these people were okay but perhaps there was one or two who weren’t. But that they would answer yes, simply because they felt there was no substance to the question.
So, I asked all my friends – R U Ok? And when they smiled and answered Yes, I followed with… No, really ok?
You see, it’s not just about asking once a year. R U Ok day is about staying connected and having meaningful conversations. About inspiring and empowering those in your group to stay connected and support each other. Especially during this major change in your life.
Pregnancy, birth and even parenthood aren’t easy. There are times when you, or a friend, may not be ok.
What to do if you are concerned someone is struggling
If you are concerned that someone is struggling and are not sure what to do. You can start by making them feel comfortable and then ask R U Ok? Really, ok? If they have trouble putting words together, ask them to start at the beginning. Be genuine. And listen with an open mind. Remember, this is not your moment to judge.
Listen, Listen, Listen
This is all about being a good mate and listener, not an expert.
Once you have a better understanding of the problem, you can encourage action. Remember, you are not a professional and are not there to solve their problem. It may be as simple as listening that helps. Which is great, check in again soon to make sure they are okay.
Wow, this is serious
If you think the conversation is too big for you or you think the person may be in imminent danger of self-harm, you should seek professional help. Some conversations are just too big for family and friends. And that’s okay too. So, who do you contact?
Contacts for the big stuff…
Your family doctor can help. Or check out the links below.
Natural Birth and Motherhood’s founder, Chris, is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aider. She is trained in recognising and assisting young people who aren’t ok.
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