R U OK 2020

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You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and willing to listen. Today is ๐—ฅ ๐—จ ๐—ข๐—ž day and while I am usually not a fan of โ€œreaching outโ€ on a specific day of the year, as our friends and family need us year round, I qas pleasantly surprised by this yearโ€™s campaign: ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒโ€™๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฅ ๐—จ ๐—ข๐—ž. As coach, I listen to my clients everyday. These are the people who want to change something about their health and wellbeing and have made the first step to reach out. However we also know the first step is the hardest and takes courage, so being there for our friends and lending an ear is very important. If you notice someone close to you seems a bit off and not themselves, donโ€™t just ask whether they’re ok, use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life ๐—”๐˜€๐—ธ ๐—ฅ ๐—จ ๐—ข๐—ž ? ยท Find a private space ยท Ask open questions, such as โ€œWhatโ€™s been happening?โ€ ยท Voice your concerns ยท If they donโ€™t want to talk, donโ€™t take it personally. Just let them know youโ€™ll be there if they need someone to listen ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป ยท Donโ€™t interrupt and give thinking space when needed. Silence isnโ€™t a bad thing ยท Donโ€™t judge or criticize, simply listen and acknowledge whatโ€™s going on ยท Encourage them to dig deeper โ€œHave you always felt that way” ๐—˜๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ยท Ask โ€“ โ€œWhere would you like to go from here?โ€ ยท Help brainstorm โ€“ what activities may be enjoyable and support them ยท If youโ€™ve had similar experiences, share what worked for you. ยท Let them know that there is no shame in seeking professional help, on the contrary โ€“ it shows immense strength to reach out and ask for help, and theyโ€™ve done the first step by talking to you!

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For more info on how to continue a conversation after asking “R U OK?” head to ruok.org.au

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