Ask R U OK? Day - no qualifications needed
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Ask R U OK? Day – no qualifications needed

Ask R U OK? Day - no qualifications needed

Thursday 8 September is R U OK? Day –  a National Day of Action and a reminder that every day is a day to check in with your friends, family and colleagues.

This year, R U OK? are championing the message; ‘Ask R U OK? No qualifications needed’, to remind Australians they already have what it takes to support their family, friends and colleagues. ‘Ask R U OK? No qualifications needed’ comes in response to new research which found four in ten Australians feel asking someone ‘are you OK?’ is a conversation better had with an expert.

For students, learning how to support their peers and talk about how they feel is an important life lesson, so where better to start than in the classroom. R U OK? provide free resources for educators and institutions to help students and staff everywhere start a meaningful conversation that could change a life.

“Everyone experiences life’s ups and downs and in recent times there has been a lot to cope with,” said R U OK? CEO, Katherine Newton. “Natural disasters, the pandemic, world conflicts and cost of living increases have added additional pressure and emotional strain for many, and that’s not confined to one day of the year.

“We want to reassure Australians that you don’t need to be an expert to have an R U OK? conversation with someone in your world who might be struggling. Listening and giving someone your time might be just what they need to help them through a difficult period.” This is confirmed by the research which found that when authentic, genuine R U OK? conversations are happening, more than 80% of people say they are making a positive difference.

“The work of health professionals is vital, and their value cannot be underestimated, however by having regular, meaningful conversations, we can help the people we care about feel supported before they are in crisis and, if that conversation does get too big for us, we can guide them to seek professional help,” said Ms Newton.

“I think it’s a message everyone can relate to because we all think we’re experts in a range of things so why be reluctant when this is something we can actually do,” said Ms Newton. “For example, if you feel qualified to second guess the referee from the comfort of your armchair, you can ask a mate R U OK? No qualifications needed. If you feel qualified to give fashion advice while lounging in your old ‘trackies’, you can ask your friend R U OK? No qualifications needed, or, if you feel qualified to assemble a flat pack desk straight out of the box without the instructions, you can ask your colleague R U OK? No qualifications needed.”

R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with friends, family and colleagues who might be struggling with life. One of the most renowned theories relating to suicide prevention is by Dr Thomas Joiner. Joiner’s theory describes three forces at play in someone at risk of suicide, one of which is a decreased sense of belonging. It’s this lack of belonging and sense of connection that R U OK? are working to prevent.

Ask R U OK? No qualifications needed because a conversation could change a life.

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