The idea behind this special day is to remind everyone to check in on the people in their world and ask if they are really ok. Of course, this is important, not just on R U OK Day, but everyday.
The challenges and trials of life can affect people differently and it's not always obvious if they’re struggling.
Mental health issues can be very common amongst the neurodivergent population. The extra pressures of navigating a neurotypical world, especially in settings where there are social expectations, can have a great impact on mental wellbeing.
The sensory differences that many neurodivergent people experience as well as challenges around change can also be a huge source of anxiety. Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression are frequently comorbid with neurodivergent conditions.
What is also important to consider around R U OK DAY is your own mental health. Before you can look out for others, you do need to look out for yourself. And that’s OK. If you're not in the right headspace or you don't think you're the right person to have the conversation, try to think of someone else in the support network who may be able to check in.
To help you decide whether you’re ready to start a meaningful conversation, ask yourself:
AM I READY?
Am I in a good headspace?
Am I willing to genuinely listen?
Can I give as much time as needed?
AM I PREPARED?
Do I understand that if I ask how someone’s going, the answer could be: “No, I’m not”?
Do I understand that I can’t ‘fix’ someone’s problems?
Do I accept that they might not be ready to talk? Or they might not want to talk to me?
PICKED MY MOMENT?
Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy?
Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat?
Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?
Remember, don’t wait until things are at crisis point to check in with those around you. Keep the message alive and reach out every now and then and ask how they are really going.
If someone you know is struggling and you’re not sure who to turn to, please get in touch with us and we will put you in contact with the right supports. Alternatively jump on our website, by tapping here, where you will find information about how to get in touch with Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Kids Helpline, Headspace and many other helpful resources.