Everyone Has the Power to Ask – R U OK?

Sometimes reaching out can make all the difference to someone's life.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Source: RU OK Day Australia
Sometimes we see people struggling, and yet for some reason, we don’t take the time to check in on them.
Have you taken the time to check up on those around you lately?
Perhaps we’re too shy or can’t find the words.
We make excuses – it’s not the right time, they’re busy, they were happy yesterday- it must just be a bad day.
We also let the culture of brushing things under the carpet, keeping the peace and the stigma of mental health issues keep us quiet.

If you or someone you love is struggling right now, you can get help here.

It’s hard to make time for each other. It’s hard to ask those questions because sometimes we don’t feel like we have the answers, or know what to say. But, we need to have those conversations.

R U OK day is held on the second Thursday in September every year. It’s a tough day, because it challenges each and every one of us to face each other, and have those sometimes tough conversations. 

You don’t need to wait until September rolls around to ask the question though.  Every single day, we are surrounded by thousands of people  -whether at work, at home, or on social media.  Take the time to look around and be aware of those around you, and don’t be scared to check on other people.

It’s hard to sometimes admit we need help or aren’t coping. It’s especially hard to admit this to people we’ve kept a brave face on for. It’s also tough for many of us, as we remember people we’ve known and loved who have lost their lives to suicide.

We need to look out for each other

R U OK day is important. Suicide awareness is important. We live in a country with enormously high suicide rates. 3,000 Australians suicide every single year. That’s more than 8 per day. Very few Australians would be untouched by suicide in some way. Someone’s brothers, sisters, fathers, sons daughters, friends, colleagues. It’s a shocking figure. But the good news is, each and every single one of us has the power to turn those figures around.

By talking about mental health, we help to reduce the stigma of seeking help. By educating ourselves, our communities, our workplaces, our friends on how we can help each other and look out for each other, we can make a difference.

How do you ask if someone is ok?

We’ve all got the power to support one another and look out for each other, and help people who may be struggling with life. We’ve all got what it takes to navigate that conversation, when someone says, “no, I’m not ok.” It’s as simple as this

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

Sometimes, the issues feel too big for us to deal with. And that’s ok. You can help your family and friends to get professional help (see the numbers below). You can also get support for yourself at to help you learn how to respond if someone says, “no, I’m not ok”.

If you haven’t already, take the time to check in with someone today. All it takes is a simple, R U OK?

And please share this with your family and friends, and don’t forget to ask if they’re ok.

R U OK? is an Australian suicide prevention charity. Its mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and to support those struggling with life.

Find out more:

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Time to Change the Conversation

by Ciara Kelly
Your Mind At Work//

How to Talk to a Colleague About Their Mental Health

by Jen Fisher

Alyza Berman: “Here Is How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”

by Beau Henderson

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.