R U OKAY?

It’s 1:45am and I’m in that magical part of youtube where every song suggested gives you goosebumps. It’s got treasures like Bon Iver’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” cover, Tom Odell “Another Love” and James Vincent Morrow’s haunting “Higher Love”.

But rather than continuing to deeper in to music wonderland I thought I should actually do something productive. Instead I ended up blogging.

In my PR lecture yesterday we were looking at campaign case studies, one of which was  ‘R U OKAY?’

R U OKAY is a non-for-profit organisation started by Gary Larkin after he lost hist father to suicide. The organisation’s website says its mission is “to encourage and empower all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.”

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I could not love this organisation or their purpose more. Even the way they have described their mission – “to support those struggling with life”. Because it’s not just for those with medically recognised issues or illnesses but just anyone who is having a rough time; which is everybody at some point or another.

After watching a campaign video and talking about the organisation I started thinking of all the times recently I’ve had people in my life ask if I’m okay. I’ve since come to the following conclusions.

  1. I clearly have a terrible poker face when something is up
  2. I’m incredibly lucky to have such great friends and family who look out for me
  3. What a difference a conversation can make!

You don’t have to be a young Dr Phil or even Oprah, you just need to listen and give a shit. I know being a girl I’m very used to talking things through with friends as well, we are emotional creatures and we’ve had a lot of practice. Late night D&Ms when we sleepover at a friend’s place, chats at the tuck shop at school, it’s all been training. Of course the content of these conversations has probably hopefully matured as has the advice…well in most cases. But regardless girls can generally approach this stuff without it being awkward. 

For our male counterparts its not so easy as being blokes they’ve been largely told by society that to be masculine is to be tough and are regularly told “harden up”. It’s times like these that despite all my complaints about long toilet lines, how long it takes to get ready, hairdressing costs and the whole being the one who gives birth thing; girls do have it pretty good.

I know society’s views are changing and with organisations like ‘R U OKAY’, ‘Soften the Fck Up’ and ‘Beyond Blue’ there is a lot more awareness then there used to be. However I can’t help but wish things were different.

I’m incredibly blessed to have not only loving parents and amazing girlfriends to talk to when I’m down but I’m also lucky to have ‘da boyz’ in my life who are there for me to talk to too. In fact if it wasn’t for some of those ‘soft’ guys I probably wouldn’t be keeping my head above water right now. So big thanks and kudos to the boys who are strong enough to be ‘softies’.

I hope to see the end of the whole ‘take a spoonful of cement and harden up’ thing because we are all human (yes even males) and we should all feel we can talk to someone when life is hard without being scrutinised.

You never know how much that conversation could mean to someone.

Maybe if someone had just sat down with Kim Jon II in ‘Team America: World Police’ and had a heart to heart asking him why he wanted to detonate bombs in nearly every country on the planet Alex Baldwin never would have had to die.

For tips on how to ask someone ‘R U OKAY’ follow the link: https://www.ruokday.com/resources-for-you/how-to-ask-r-u-ok/

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