R U OK? Ideas to connect and start a conversation

Next week on 8th September, it is R U OK Day. R U OK?’s vision is to make everyone feel connected and protected from suicide.  R U OK day is a national campaign that inspires people around Australia to ask their friends and loved ones the simplest of questions – “Are you ok?”. By asking this, you are giving someone the chance to feel connected, heard and empowered before they contemplate suicide. Lack of connection and lack of belonging is one of the issues being tackled on R U OK Day. By interacting in a casual and meaningful conversation, it can help put negative thoughts at ease and help others express themselves. Asking “Are you ok?” is an easy and great place to start and it is a yearly reminder that a conversation can change a life.

R U OK day is a national campaign that inspires people around Australia to ask their friends and loved ones the simplest of questions - "Are you ok?".

If you know of somebody that hasn’t been themselves lately, use some of the following suggestions which can be the little reminder that they have someone in their life that cares.

Simple Gestures

Simple gestures like this may be all they need to brighten their day. To let them know through your words, messages or action that they matter.

  • Call them
  • Send them a simple hello how are you via private message on social media or via text
  • Mail them a card
  • Text them a photo
  • Let them know you’ve found something they make like ie. new TV show about to start you think they may enjoy too, or event happening in the community.
  • Play an online game together
  • Text them a joke

Q: What did Jay-Z call his girlfriend before they got married?
A: Feyoncé!!

Ok, maybe that’s isn’t the best joke, but search some online there are plenty out there to suit all kinds of humor. Send them the Question of the jokes and wait for them to reply to send the Answer, it’s a great conversation starter.

More time gestures

If you have a little more time free, try some of these ideas together:

  • Go out for coffee
  • Cook them a meal and deliver it to them
  • Go out for a meal
  • Start exercising together
  • Binge watch a series on TV
  • Plan a weekend getaway
  • Start playing a sport
  • Start a hobby
  • Go to book club
  • Go see a movie

Gestures listed above and more will show them that they are important to you, and if they aren’t OK, hopefully this may help them start to open up and communicate their worries, be there for them to listen.

How are you? RU OK?

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Katlen August 29, 2016 - 10:37 AM

Thank you for your article on R U OK?
I have lived with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember – earliest memory is at 11 y.o., and I struggle with admitting that I’m sometimes not ok as I don’t want to burden others with my woes as I figure they have enough to deal with in their own lives. I have a habit of adopting the “fake it until you make it” attitude which only serves me by reinforcing the walls and defeats the purpose of having someone ask R U OK as I don’t answer truthfully. I suppose at least now I’m able to identify my destructive, unhelpful behaviours – it’s up to me now to do something about it

Donna August 29, 2016 - 11:18 AM

I understand Katlen and yes, it is up to you to a certain extent but sometimes you are simply not capable of it and others really DO want to help. I am in your situation and it has taken me decades to ask for or receive help but in the last year I have finally realised that people DO care and really want to be there for me. I hope you can remember that when things are bad (as they often are in our position) and know that you ARE loved and wanted. I wish you every happiness on this difficult journey. <3

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 30, 2016 - 8:21 AM

It’s hard isn’t it Katlen, as sometimes the answer isn’t as easy as ‘ok or fine’, which the person may presume as that’s the typical answer. But as Donna has mentioned the people that are asking must care, be kind to yourself, if you want somebody to chat to allow them to listen when they ask, think how much this will help you, right now put YOU FIRST! Thinking of you xx


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