14 September 2011

The Conversation That Could Change A Life...

What would you say if a little child fell down in front of you?

What would you say if you came across an elderly person looking obviously lost in a public place?

What would you say if you met a Mum coming out of the supermarket juggling a newborn and grocery bags?

What would you say if you realised that you were seeing your neighbour outside less and less often?

What would you say if a work colleague arrived from interstate and after some time still looked lost?

What would you say if you hadn't heard from a friend or family member in a really long time?

What would you say if your sister seemed to be adding more and more to their already busy life and was regularly swinging from being fully energised to totally exhausted?

What would you say if your child became withdrawn and each day found an excuse not to go to school?

What would you say if your partner were to stumble upon a rough patch but seemed to be buzzingly bright?

What would you say if you looked in the mirror and realised that the person looking back wasn't coping?

I'm fairly certain that it in the first two or three examples above, you would automatically stop and ask

"Are you OK?"

As you read down the list though, I wonder how many of us have the strength or conviction to reach out and utter those three simple words "Are You OK?".
Starting a conversation like this can be daunting because we're not sure what we'll hear and many of us feel ill-equipped to deal with the answer if it's "Not really."
The thing is, what if someone you know or care about really isn't coping and doesn't have the ability to reach out themselves, what then?

Fortunately there are oodles of resources available to support us and they are readily accessible at the click or tap of a button.  One of the best things that I've read in a long time is the material contained on the 'RUOK?' website. They have a great page that details how to have that difficult conversation, guiding you step-by-step and offering options if the person you're worried about doesn't want to talk.

I'll be having one of these conversations today with someone I care about immensely.
It's not the 'starter' conversation, but a follow up to check in on how the journey is going for them.
They have done the same for me many times and with great love and patience as I navigate the obstacles I face with my own anxiety & depression and for this I am truly, truly grateful.

As you read each of these golden speech bubbles I hope that you've been able to answer "Yes!".
I hope too that you might be inspired to ask someone you know those three little words today.
Please visit the website for more information or click on the image below to take you to someone who can help.

To read more posts just like this, hop on over to Gemma's space "My Big Nutshell" where she's hosting a very special blog hop for the next week.


  1. ABC's Australian Story this past Monday night featured the indomitable Gavin Larkin, creator of RUOK Day, who is now in palliative care suffering from terminal lymphoma. Unfortunately he is not OK, but he is leaving a legacy which will hopefully help many others.
    Hope you R O K Felicity.

  2. Hurrah on your support of something fabulous. Tomorrow I'm going to say it more than usual. (And that is a lot!)


  3. I have been very lucky to have wonderful people like you to lean on for support lately and I know a couple of people I'm going to check in on tomorrow too. It is such a simple thing to ask, but if you truely show that you are willing to hear an answer other than 'I'm fine' it can be such an amazing relief to be asked that question.

  4. Good Luck with your friend. I hope they will continue to weather his/her storm with loved ones like you to make sure they are indeed, okay.

  5. This is really wonderful. I would really appreciate hearing these words if I were in the same situation. Have a lovely day, Kellie xx

  6. I'm on board, Sweetheart. As you know. And I might just be checking up on a few people, too. A brilliant post. J x

  7. a sweet reminder to reach out beyond ourselves...

  8. What a great reminder, Felicity. Hope you're having a wonderful week.
    PS - just linked to your blog from my post today :)

  9. A caring helping hand. For many it is an everyday thing. To some this is an awakening post. Good job!

  10. Thanks for sharing, Fel. What a wonderful, wonderful website and a special day. I'll be sure to ask someone that question today. I know I've been asked a lot in my life.

    Love your heart, lady. You are special! xx

  11. Dear Felicity

    Wonderful post. Sneeking a moment from work as the computer here can see you.

    Little words that give us a bridge to each other.

    it is everything when you now someone cares

    Much love

  12. Felicity - thank you for this post.

    I think this is such a great idea and I'm so glad to see how much support it's getting across Australia.

    At the same time it's so easy for people (like me!) to hit 'like' on a Facebook page and not take the time to really think through what this day means. Your questions really prompted me to think about it, and to think about who I need to check in with. x

  13. Fabulous post, succinct and impactful.

  14. Thankyou for reminding me that I don't talk to the woman in the mirror often enough. Great post. Thanks.

  15. I hope your follow up conversation goes well!

    Lovely post.

  16. Yes I agree very good post, you sure have the words my dear.Many years ago ,arrived in Australia with a baby and a husband and nothing else...At that time no one asked that questions and it was the hardest years in my life...Such a great reminder to break the isolation and acknowledge that mental health is so important!Thanks for the reminder lovely lady xx
    Hope that you have all the support to be ok today and that your friend is doing well.
    Sandrine xx

  17. The organisation I work for is a principal sponsor of this event.

    It is such a worthy cause and the story behind it really tugs at my heart.

    On this very important day I ask you R U Ok?


  18. Hi everyone. Thank you for stopping by and asking those three important words.

    I am OK and am truly heartened that so many people are getting on board, writing the tough posts, asking the tricky questions, genuinely listening and generally being warm-hearted.

    xx's to all!

  19. Aftre I read through the list I couldn't help but wonder if you are okay. I hope all is wll. Sending hugs can you feel them? P.S>I'm having my very first blog hop today Please stop by and link up your lovely blog.

  20. I asked everyone I encountered yesterday 'ruok?' and fortunately 99% were very okay. I am so glad I asked that 1% and could let them know I was there for them. x

  21. Hi Felicity..you are a truly thoughtful, beautiful soul. You're a real meat and potatoes girl post-subject-wise. There is always something to think about when I visit you..and I hope that you're ok today too?

  22. I am doing a post on this today. I think it is a great idea. If it encourages someone to offer help or someone to get help then I will be successful. We don't have this in the states. I truly think we could use it here.


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x