Every year, we take the opportunity to recognise R U OK? Day, and encourage you all to check in with your families, friends, and colleagues. Given what 2020 has thrust at us so far, I think that R U OK? Day holds even more significance this year.
The truth is, many of us are not ‘okay’. 2020 has challenged us in ways that we’ve never before experienced, starting with the horrific bushfire season in Australia and the tragic eruption of the Taal volcano in Philippines, followed swiftly by the still-unfolding devastation of COVID-19. I know that many of you reading this email in Melbourne will be living in circumstances that were genuinely unthinkable at the same time last year, and for the rest us with comparative freedom, we’re concerned about the prospect of future outbreaks bringing terrible health and economic consequences with them. Some of us may be concerned for family and friends who have lost their jobs, or whose health places them risk. Some of us may be feeling alone and disconnected from our loved ones who live across borders and oceans, unsure of when we’ll see them again. And, while we have amazing technology to help us work remotely and remain connected, it’s not yet quite clever enough to replace the feeling of seeing someone in person.
So, this year, more than ever, it’s important to not just ask ‘R U OK?’, but to also know what to say when someone tells you that they’re not okay. There are four safe and simple steps that we can follow to make sure that we’re checking in on our family and friends, and feel empowered to help those around us who are struggling. You don’t need to have all the answers or be an expert; just asking the question and being prepared to listen without judgment can make all the difference.
As always, we have a range of resources available on The Hub to help guide you through these conversations, and our Benestar service is available on demand, 24/7. We want everyone at TSA to feel that they can talk about life’s ups and downs, and access support on demand if you need it.
Find more conversation guides and resources at ruok.org.au