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Building Independence / Community Partners / Families/Carers

Today is Are you OK? day

By Jennifer Lumsden, September 11 2019

In 1995, much-loved Barry Larkin was far from OK. His suicide left family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions.

In 2009, his son Gavin Larkin chose to champion just one question to honour his father and to try and protect other families from the pain he endures.

Are you OK?

How good is that simple question “Are you OK?” to check in with family, friend or workmate about how they are travelling. We might think to save our concern for those around us to Are you OK day. Well, don’t! Start the practice today and make it a regular habit.

Ask yourself, do you have a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it is not behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts. Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it.

By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you have noticed, you could help that workmate, family member or friend to open up.

Here’s how to start:-

1. Ask Are you Ok? in a relaxed and friendly voice;
2. Listen without judgement or giving advice or interrupting;
3. Encourage them to take action;
4. Follow up later with ‘How are you going?’

On the flip side, if the person you have checked in with has said “I’m ok”, you have let that person know you are someone who cares enough to ask and that has to feel good.

If you need to talk to someone call Lifeline on 13 11 14

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