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Thursday 10 September 2015

R U OK Day Australia 2015: VIDEOS + Opinion Piece

So, 'R U OK' day has rolled around again.

You know the day now: bright yellow messages, celebs posting inspo-words, friends putting it up as almost an obligatory status update on Facebook.

But: what does it actually mean?

Well, I could pull out the (very on-message, kind and real) PR blurb. And the videos below are excellent, and also very real.

But for me it means:

- Do not ignore when a friend is down. That means, if they are posting a cryptic - or obvious - message on Facebook, don't pretend you didn't see it. Reach out. Perhaps you don't connect with them much. This could be your opportunity to show them your do value their friendship. Nobody has ever thought less of a person for caring for them, even if you don't get a warm reaction, you'll plant the seed that you care, and they'll feel liked or loved. Isn't that a nice feeling? We ALL want that. Then: follow through and meet up, or do something for them. Or just check in again with them.

- Check in on your brother or sister if the family is in crisis. Death in the family is a big one for this: if you've all been through a common grief experience, stick together, rather than drift apart. Drifting builds resentment and can start to build hate where there should be love. Start the R U OK message in the home. Just like charity.

- Ask your closest co-worker, even your boss if it's appropriate, how they are doing, especially if you know they are struggling. We spend SO many hours together, it's little wonder we care so much about people we work with. Reach out, ask them. It could open a whole new level of friendship, which has the added advantage that you can ask them how they are doing several times a day, even lunch with them, offering a lovely cushion of support, all while working with them. It's kinda perfect.

- I know for myself that, there are particular people I really, truly hoped would reach out to ME in my time of grief, when they definitely should have known better. My yardstick: if they've been to my home, celebrated good stuff with me, have my phone number - they should definitely have reached out, called, popped over. Not a text. Not a Facebook message. An actual, reach out, "how are you" connection. I can't recover from that - unless that person really makes an actual effort to connect with me. Anything else just feels like an obligation on their part, to keep me at arm's length in case they need me for something. That doesn't wash with me. Asking 'R U OK' actually means old school connection - phone call, visit, actual real life (not virtual) love.

SO: do it... ask people in - our out - of your circle - if they are okay. They will feel better for it, and you'll be surprised at how much you do too.

Watch the R U OK videos from the official site below. The Facebook page is HERE.

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