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R U OK? Day 2023 – We’re here to hear

September 14, 2023

R U OK? Day 2023

R U OK? Day 2023 is Thursday 14 September and is a day to remind Australians to ask, ‘Are you OK?


You can start a meaningful conversation whenever you spot the signs that someone you care about might be struggling with life.

The R U OK? initiative is an amazing program that is geared towards preventing suicide by encouraging individuals to prioritize their personal relationships and strengthen their informal support networks. It’s a great reminder that we’re not alone in the world and that we have people around us who care deeply about us.

By being vigilant of signs of distress or difficulty and engaging in conversations with those around us, we can help connect those in need with appropriate support long before they reach a crisis point. It’s essential to take care of ourselves and our loved ones by checking in on them regularly and offering a listening ear when they need it. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay, and it’s always better to reach out for help than to suffer in silence. Let’s spread kindness and compassion, one conversation at a time.

For more information, check out


How to ask?

A poster describing the 4 steps to asking Are You OK / R U OK?


1. ASK R U OK?

  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach.
  • Help them open up by asking questions like “How are you going?” or “What’s been happening?”
  • Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?”

If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise them.

  • Tell them you’re still concerned about changes in their behaviour and you care about them.
  • Avoid a confrontation.
    You could say: “Please call me if you ever want to chat” or “Is there someone else you’d rather talk to?”


  • Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation.
  • Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them.
  • If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence.
  • Encourage them to explain: “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”
  • Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you have understood them properly.


  • Ask: “What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?”
  • Ask: “How would you like me to support you?”
  • Ask: “What’s something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable or relaxing?”
  • You could say: “When I was going through a difficult time, I tried this… You might find it useful too.”
  • If they’ve been feeling really down for more than 2 weeks, encourage them to see a health professional. You could say, “It might be useful to link in with someone who can support you. I’m happy to assist you to find the right person to talk to.”
  • Be positive about the role of professionals in getting through tough times.


  • Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner.
  • You could say: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to know how you’ve been going since we last chatted.”
  • Ask if they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them. They might just need someone to listen to them for the moment.
  • Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference.


Download the R U OK? Conversation Guide

Download the R U OK? Conversation Guide

You have what it takes to make a difference.

You don’t need to be an expert to ask, ‘R U OK?’. A conversation could change a life.



September 14, 2023
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