Talking with veterans and family members about R U OK? Day often generates some important and meaningful discussions around mental health, suicide, and how to have meaningful conversations with friends, family, and other veterans.
It can also be a time of reflection around how we may be managing. It’s also not uncommon to hear the well-intended frustration expressed around the focus of these important topics on one single day of the year.
While September 10 serves as a reminder for us all to check in with those we care about, it doesn’t have to be restricted to only one day.
For many people, 2020 has been a particularly challenging year. A year where many on us have come into contact with feelings of uncertainty, isolation and loneliness, frustration, worry, grief and loss.
Where many have experienced impacts to psychological and physical health, financial hardships, loss of loved ones; and social disconnect. As a community we have observed Mates looking out for each other, make social connections, encourage each other and reach out during challenging times. Asking ‘R U OK?’ has become commonplace for many as we process through unusual events but also day-to-day life.
This year, the R U OK? Day campaign is encouraging people to continue the discussion once we have started the conversation. What to say after someone says they are not OK and how best to guide our loved ones and mates through the help seeking process. It’s not always easy but starting the conversation could be life changing. You don’t have to be an expert to provide support but by knowing what you can to say and do to help someone feel support can make a positive difference.
This year ask R U OK? To start a meaningful conversation with friends, family and mates; and don’t forget to continue asking throughout the year. For lots of helpful tips and information head to R U OK? website.
If you would like further information or to access support with the Psychological Services Team, please contact your local Family Recovery Centre.
Written by Mates4Mates Psychologist Hannah Lupo