A chance to check-in and ask R U OK?

RU Ok? I'm here to hear. ruok.org.au

A PHAA member

Content warning – this blog contains discussion of suicide


Today is R U OK? Day. I want to share my recent experiences and encourage people to not wait to check-in on people they know.

One recent evening while watching recordings from the Preventive Health Conference 2023, we received a message from family in the United Kingdom that one of our in-laws had passed away. They had been in and out of hospital many times for treatment of their mental health conditions.

While grieving my relative, I also thought back to what Dr Stephen Carbone CEO of Prevention United told the conference when he made the case for investment in preventative mental health. I began to reflect on how I had invested my time.

I was both sad and angry; sad at our family’s loss, and also angry with myself for not contacting my relative more often. Last year I sent them a gift, and they replied that their health was improving.

It’s R U OK? Day 2023, when we’re encouraged to ask family, friends and colleagues, how they’re going. To try having a meaningful conversation with them, and to show we care.

I wished I’d not spent so much time on my conference submission, and instead taken the time to contact my relative. I wished I’d sent them get well flowers, instead of flowers for their funeral.

Funeral flowers on a table

Dr Carbone finished his presentation by urging us all to invest in preventive mental health. To me, that means structuring my time so I check-in on people around me. I want to know if they’re okay. You don’t know what is under people’s facades or words of assurance.

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

13 YARN – 13 92 76

RU OK? resources translated into multiple languages

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