Skip to main content

10th September 2020

R U OK? Day is the national day of action when we remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

The R U OK?’s 2019 national omnibus survey revealed the following statistics:

  • Approximately two-thirds of people (63%) are not confident they know the signs that someone might be struggling with life
  • 41% hadn’t asked someone if they were OK because they weren’t sure they knew the signs
  • But there is hope, with nearly 1 in 2 (49%) believing they would be more confident starting a conversation if they knew the signs

How to start a conversation?

  1. Ask
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

Got a feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it. Learn more about the signs and when it’s time to ask R U OK?

By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up. If they say they are not ok, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.

Trust the signs, trust your gut, and ask R U OK?

What are they saying? Do they seem:

    • Confused or irrational
    • Moody
    • Unable to switch off
    • Concerned about the future
    • Concerned they’re a burden
    • Lonely or lacking self-esteem
    • Concerned they’re trapped or in pain

What are they doing? Are they:

    • Experiencing mood swings
    • Becoming withdrawn
    • Changing their online behavior
    • Losing interest in what they used to love
    • Unable to concentrate
    • Less interested in their appearance and personal hygiene
    • Behaving recklessly
    • Changing their sleep patterns

What’s going on in their life? Are they experiencing:

    • Relationship issues
    • Major health issues
    • Work pressure or constant stress
    • Financial difficulty
    • Loss of someone or something they care about

For further information, please refer to the attached R U OK? Day signs downloadable flyer attached at the bottom this article.

If you or someone you know are struggling to cope or thinking about suicide, support is available. You don’t need to face your troubles alone. Lifeline’s Crisis Supporters are available to listen and keep you safe. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

The above information has been sourced from

R U OK? Day signs downloadable flyer