Once you can accept that we need a day to remind us that asking a simple question like “R U OK?” can save a life, you have taken the first step to saving someone’s life. Suicide rates are higher today than ever before. What are you doing to lower those rates and make a difference in people who struggle with life?
“R U OK? is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide. Accordingly, its mission is to encourage and equip everyone to be able to regularly and meaningfully ask “are you okay?”
September 10th is #RUOKday, a day where people will make a conscious effort to have meaningful conversations starting with the question, “Are you okay?”. But why stop there? Make it a daily habit to ask this question, and when you ask, take the time to listen to their response. Suicide is prevented through caring, listening, understanding, loving and helping someone to realize their worth and value. Sometimes, just knowing that someone cares enough to ask if you are okay, is what a person needs to live another day.
This might sound totally lame to someone who has never experienced suicidal thoughts, but to those who have, I’m sure you would agree that this one simple question actually means so much. To better help you understand how to prevent suicide, consider these common signs of suicidal tendencies:
- Withdrawing from activities involving others
- Spending much of their time alone
- Talking about how they are a burden to others
- Consistently talking about death and dying
- Showing signs of depression – deep sadness, lack of sleep, trouble eating, loss of interest in things that used to make them happy
- Visiting or calling people to say “Goodbye”
- Giving away their prized possessions
- Sleeping too much or too little
It is important to act fast, be non-judgmental, and direct them to a professional in the field of mental health. Check out the following links to learn more about how to help someone who is struggling to live and may be dealing with suicidal thoughts.
HelpGuide | AFSP | APA | Save | List of Suicide Hotlines
I hope you never find yourself in this position, but if you do, I hope that you will reach out for help. I encourage you to learn about the signs and symptoms and to make an effort to check in with your friends and family regularly by asking them, “R U Okay?”.