Thursday, September 11, 2014 is going to be the R U OK? day. It is a day whereby people make a commitment to ask other people “Are you okay?”. That’s not all though. The people asking the question must follow through and dig deeper to unearth how someone is really feeling about their life, health, family, work and anything that is important to their well-being.
Mentalist Series actor and Ambassador for the RU OK? Campaign, Simon Baker, talks briefly here about connecting with people to find out whether they are doing well and feeling optimistic about their lives. There are people who keep their problems well-hidden that even those who are close to them cannot suspect that something is amiss. Many people never want to appear weak by asking for help when their problems overwhelm them. This is where you come in.
Not all of us were born to be detectives but there are moments when you can sense that a person is not happy with their life. It doesn’t have to be a family member or a close friend. It could be someone you’ve just met. Organizations such as ruok.org.au are trying to inspire conversations; encouraging people to reach out to others and try to help them get out of a mental funk state.
Each one of us is going through various trials in our lives. There are those who can cope well despite their circumstances. There are others who, due to a mental health problem, are unable to resolve the issues in their lives and start spiralling out of control. Strange behaviours and addictions may rise to the fore. Then sooner or later, news trickles in that a person you knew has committed suicide. Could you have helped? Maybe. The problem is…you never tried.
This video shows what kind of issues we all have in our lives. There are many people who feel alone or neglected. Some of the time, a simple word or a smile from a stranger goes a long way in raising their spirits. Humans can be insensitive to the plight of others and never really understand what others may be going through. Mentally ill people can fail to find the motivation that spurs us on everyday. It’s not that they are weak or don’t care. There are other forces (such as depression) making them feel unworthy of living.
It’s always a good day to do something nice for other people. Reach out to those who don’t seem okay. Start a conversation that goes beyond “I’m fine”. Relate your own worries and troubles and the steps you took to overcome them. This might help the object of your queries to come out of their shell and share with you anything that might be draining on their spirits and their will to live.
You have the power to help others today. Go beyond “R U OK?