We’re here for you, and here’s how you can support others

2020 hasn’t been an easy year for many Aussie households and businesses, which makes today an important one to check in on one another.

COVID-19 and associated lockdowns have placed all sorts of new pressures on families and businesses across the country this year.

In fact, more than 1.5 million Australians are currently suffering from mortgage stress – the equivalent of 40% of households.

With today (September 10) marking R U OK? Day 2020, first and foremost we wanted to touch base, check-in, and see whether you’re doing ok.

If not, please know that we’re genuinely here to help any way we can, including if you simply need someone to listen to you right now.

And if everything is fine and you’re doing a-ok, well, perhaps you know someone in need of a shoulder to lean on and an ear to hear them out.

“There’s more to say after R U OK?”

This year the key R U OK? message is “there’s more to say after R U OK?”

Which is great, because simply asking someone R U OK? without genuine thought, care and time can sometimes risk coming across as a platitude.

Fortunately, the team at R U OK? has compiled a handy list of tipsand more subtle questions you can ask instead, as well as a series of follow-up questions.

The tips include making sure you’re in a good headspace yourself – relaxed, ready to listen, and with ample time to give – while also being in a comfy and private place.

Suggested questions include simply asking “How are you going?”, “What’s been happening?”, or “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?”.

R U OK? encourages you not to rush the person, and show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words), and asking if you’ve understood them properly.

You can then follow-up with questions such as “How would you like me to support you?”, or “What’s something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable or relaxing?”.

And importantly, don’t just ask them on R U OK? DAY.

Set a reminder in your phone or on your calendar to check in again with them in a couple of weeks or, if they’re really struggling, sooner.