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The signs it might be time to start a R U OK Conversation

7th September 2020. Reading Time: 1 minute 1078 page views.

What are the signs that someone might need you to ask R U OK?

How conversations can make a difference?

Life’s challenges can leave people feeling helpless, hopeless, afraid, disconnected and at genuine risk    Early-intervention and open communication can reduce stigma, break down barriers and build trust which in turn promotes long-term, positive behavioural change that saves lives now and into the future    A simple way to provide support is by genuinely asking “Are you OK?”  and being prepared to have regular meaningful conversations to help someone who might be struggling to feel supported when confronted with challenges in life whether at home, work, school or in sport.

The signs it might be time to start an R U OK? conversation

It won’t always be obvious when someone’s not doing so well but  these are changes you can look out for that might signal they need some extra support.

What are they saying?  Do they sound?

  • Confused or irrational  
  • Moody
  • Unable to switch off
  • Concerned about the future  Concerned they’re a burden 
  • Lonely or lacking self-esteem  Concerned they’re trapped or in pain.

What are they doing?  Are they?

  • Experiencing mood swings  Dismissive or defensive
  • Self-medicating
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Changing their online behaviour  Behaving recklessly
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Losing interest in what they used to love  Less interested in their appearance and personal hygiene
  • Changing their sleep patterns  Changing their appearance.

What's going on in their life?  Have they experienced?

  • A traumatic incident
  • A change in work circumstances or job responsibilities
  • Issues at school
  • Increased pressure from relocation or changed living arrangements  Conflict at work or at home  Relationship issues 
  • Becoming a parent
  • Major health issues or an injury  Constant stress
  • Financial difficulty
  • Loss of someone or something they  care about.

Information from R U OK 

See our article, How to ask R U OK?