The easy query that may save lives

Amid the rising tide of psychological well being, asking, ‘R U OK?’ has by no means been extra vital. Right here’s how one can get the dialog began.

R U OK? It’s a easy query, but it surely has the potential to vary the course of an individual’s life – and probably yours too.

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It’s a query Mostapha Kourouche, 40, has been asking with care and empathy for six years whereas volunteering as an R U OK? group ambassador.

“Once I was youthful, I truly misplaced a good friend of mine to suicide,” Mostapha says.

“That has actually modified my outlook, and I suppose I wished to make some type of a distinction so nobody else must undergo that too.”

Mostapha’s travels with the organisation have seen him assist hardened farmers, truckies and males needing help of their traumatic household lives.

He says sparking conversations about psychological well being and saving lives is among the most rewarding issues in his life.

“It’s clearly not the rationale for doing it, but it surely does really feel actually satisfying realizing you’ve made a distinction in somebody’s world,” he says.

Why it’s vital to ask R U OK?

The 2021 Nationwide Examine of Psychological Well being and Wellbeing discovered greater than 43 per cent of Australians have skilled a psychological dysfunction throughout their lifetime – and one in 5 of these had skilled signs within the earlier 12 months.

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The suicide charge in Australia has been rising for the reason that mid-2000s, reaching greater than 3000 deaths per yr since 2015.

R U OK? began in 2009 with the concept genuinely asking an individual how they’re going and making your self accessible to hear, might assist cut back the variety of Australians taking their very own life.

“You will be anyone. You don’t should be a psychologist,” Mostapha says.

Crucial factor is to attach and to hear if somebody wants to speak, Mostapha provides.

You don’t want the solutions to have the ability to assist

R U OK? chief Katherine Newton says anybody can ask the query and on a regular basis folks take advantage of vital distinction.

“This yr, R U OK? is championing the message: ‘Ask R U OK? No {qualifications} wanted’, to remind Australians they have already got what it takes to help the folks of their world who is perhaps struggling,” Katherine says.

She says this comes on the again of analysis that discovered one in 4 folks believed solely knowledgeable might ask these sorts of questions.

“You don’t should have the solutions or have the ability to clear up their issues, however you’ll be able to assist them contemplate the following steps and actions they’ll take,” Katherine says.

R U OK? Day is on September 8. Take a look at guides to spark conversations and what to do if somebody wants assist.