Today is RU OK? Day, a chance to start a conversation with a friend who is struggling to cope.
If you’ve noticed your friend is less chatty than usual or avoiding social activities, trust your gut instinct and ask them how they are going.
Getting ready to ask a question as simple as, “What’s been happening?” can be nerve-racking. To help you get in that space, be ready to listen without judging and don’t rush the conversation.
Once you ask, “How are you going?”, you can follow-up with the reasons you are concerned about them. For example, you can say, “You aren’t talking much these days. Is something bothering you?”
Your friend may not want to talk just yet. If that’s the case, just let them know that you are there for them when and if they do want to talk.
If your friend tells you that they are having problems, listen and ask, “How can I help you?” You can encourage them to do something that they might enjoy or is relaxing. If they have been feeling sad or down for two weeks or more, encourage them to seek professional help. They can see a GP or call a counselling service.
Remember that you should continually check in with your friend. This shouldn’t be a one-off conversation; your genuine concern can make a difference.
If you or someone you know is struggling to cope, give us call on SuicideLine Victoria 1300 651 251
If someone’s life is in danger, call 000.