Help Me Save a Life Next Week- Promise- And No Money Asked For

I wrote a post once about knowing when to ‘turn up.’ Read it again or read it for the first time. Please. And then join me please in turning up next week, on Thursday 13 September. Together we can save a life, or several. No joke. Here’s how.

CEO Mike suggested I use Possums this week to spread the word about an incredibly important day, Thursday 13 September. It’s a day that was inspired by a colleague, Gavin Larkin, who sadly passed away late last year after a long illness. This day is one of his many legacies of an action packed life well led. Gavin made a massive contribution, and we miss him.

It’s a day he designed, with others, and is built around saving lives by asking one very simple question. Here it is.

Are you ok?

From the R U OK? Website – R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’

R U OK?Day is a national day of action dedicated to inspiring all Australians (and applies too to you Possum readers overseas) to ask family, friends and colleagues, ‘Are you ok?’ By regularly reaching out to one another and having open and honest conversations, we can all help build a more connected community and reduce our country’s high suicide rate.

More than 2,200 Australians suicide each year and men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females (ABS 2012). For each person that takes their life, another 30 people attempt to end their own life (SANE Australia).

Most people don’t openly share their feelings, particularly if they’re struggling. The best thing we can all do is regularly talk to the people we care about – regardless of whether they are at risk – because connection is good for us all.

In the time it takes to have your coffee, you can start a conversation that could change a life.

Possums readers- my challenge to you- Who will you ask?

How can a conversation change a life?

Connection and open, honest conversations are good for our wellbeing – whether or not we’re struggling with a problem. It helps us to feel valued and supported by the people around us. There’s also an emerging body of research which links supportive social relationships and a sense of social connection with protective factors in suicide prevention.

What to do next…please:

  1. Make a big diary note that Thursday, 13 September is R U OK? Day
  2. Spread the word and tell others to do it too
  3. Think about who you know who might benefit from a quiet conversation, build around ” So- how are you? How are you really?”
  4. Review the R U OK? Website and read more about this day, and review the resources available
  5. And J.F.D.I – Just Fucking Do It on Thursday 13 September.
  6. Tell me how you went- please


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3 Responses to Help Me Save a Life Next Week- Promise- And No Money Asked For

  1. Kamal September 7, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Hi Chris
    great post

    RUOK is a fantastic cause.

    I think that in such a connected world many of us are still feeling disconnected

    Breathe deep

  2. Ella September 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Interestingly, the week following up to RUOK day, I was caught in a terrible state, crying often. I really think it’s the women’s ability to cry that makes us less prone to suicide. But my poor partner had no idea on how to deal with my blues. I’m glad I snapped out of it, but it’s given me an understanding how terrible it can be to be caught under a constant gray cloud. I asked my brother if he was OK, he had recently split from his fiance. I really wish men could open up more about their feelings.

  3. Craig September 27, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    Yeah, many men are not taught the vocab to express feelings honestly, clearly, effectively and to then not feel ashamed afterwards.

    Some call it Emotional IQ, some call it the Mature Masculine. I learnt and practiced a lot through the Mankind Project, an awesome organisation that can be easy to judge or misunderstand, based on your own preconception, or anothers misconception. But do your own research if interested. I did it in SA, but its also in Oz and NZ.

    Either way, it makes for a more humane world when we speak to each other, especially strangers and in their language! In African culture, all people are greeted as mother, father, brother, sister, nana, etc. Its a wonderful thing to check with people if they are OK!

    Thank you Gavin
    Thank you Chris

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