Scott Tipping, a local advocate for R U Ok? Day on Thursday, September 9, said it was a day to remind everyone to connect with each other and have a conversation.
Ongoing COVID-19 restrictions mean it is more crucial than ever to check in with friends, family and co-workers to see if they are okay, Tipping said.
“For me it’s about understanding how people are going.
“It’s about seeing how people are and checking in, and it’s about connecting with someone.
“I’m doing a lot for R U Ok? Day – I’m doing an R U Ok? Week – as every day is an opportunity to check in with people.
“At my company we’re doing mindfulness activities like yoga and meditation.
“A lot of people are often hesitant to start a conversation as they fear that the other person will say they’re not okay and they don’t feel that they’re qualified to help out, and in cases like that it’s okay.
“There are always options, like getting them to see their GP and seek out professional help, and it’s really about starting that conversation and helping where we can,” Tipping said.
In 2017, Tipping embarked on an 11-day jet ski trip from Melbourne to Brisbane to raise awareness about the importance of R U Ok Day, and to encourage people to start conversations about their mental health.
The R U Ok? website has outlined four easy steps to follow – ask, listen, encourage action and check in.
Remind the other person that you are there for them and be positive about some actions that you think might help, such as seeing a health professional.
Some signs that someone might not be okay include confusion or irrationality, mood swings or moodiness, unable to switch off, concerns over being a burden, or being trapped or in pain, as well as loneliness and low self-esteem.
Other signs include becoming withdrawn, losing interest in what they love, inability to concentrate, less interest in their appearance and hygiene, changes in sleep patterns, reckless behaviour, relationship issues, health issues, work pressure, constant stress, financial difficulty and the loss of someone or something they care about.