Rose Hogan from our StandBy Service was glad to be part of the #RUOKDay Convoy in Lismore on 3 September. Sometimes just a couple of words can make a big difference. Sometimes, it’s just lending an ear.

Rose shares her thoughts on RU OK Day and what to look out for with your friends and family when they don’t appear to being doing so well…


Do you think those three little words – R U OK – are really able to make a difference?  

“RU OK is an easy introduction to conversation, which is what it’s about.  A simple approach to asking – in a genuine & caring way – how are you going today? The difference is the practice becomes a natural part of engagement (providing we take the time to listen to the answer)


What sorts of signs or symptoms should people look for in their family, friends, neighbours and colleagues?  

RU OK Day put together this great clip about looking for signs or changes in people’s behaviour. See the link below to find out:


People can find conversations about serious or personal things pretty tricky. Do you have any tips or pointers for people to help them broach the subject?

The more you practice the better you get…same with tricky conversations. Be mindful of place and time – if you are genuinely interested and respectful, then a conversation may flow. Practice with friends or family – mostly practice listening. It’s often harder than we think. Listen to hear what’s being said (not about how you will reply). We don’t have to have “all the answers”. We mostly need a caring, genuine interest in the other person.


What sorts of things can we do to be more resilient in the face of mental health challenges?

My personal tip – care well for self, then I’m better prepared to manage my own issues and any others that may present from others. Also speak frankly about the issues (of course, at times we need to be selective as when or where these conversations take place) but as service providers we have many opportunities to raise awareness, challenge bias and bigotry and promote help seeking.

Take good care of self….ensure life, work, physical, emotional, spiritual balance. Ensure you have someone to go to and speak with when you are feeling ‘wobbly’.


What steps should we take after a big conversation with someone to follow up?

Check in with them – “how did you go with that…(referral/ meeting whatever”)…checking in and following up shows a genuine interest. It can also encourage that person to continue to get support


Tuesday 14 September is the official RU OK Day. But don’t feel you need to wait for that to ask the question. Ask today – Are you OK?



Post expires at 3:17pm on Monday December 10th, 2018

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