R U OK? Day: How to start the conversation

The Port Stephens community is being urged to take more than a passing interest in R U OK? Day on Thursday, September 9.

With lockdown restrictions taking their toll on people of all ages, residents are being reminded to check on friends and family, students and the elderly.

A common issue in society is how to go about supporting someone once they are ready to talk.

Here a few simple tips for making an open and supportive conversation:

  • Make space - ensure you have plenty of time for your friend.
  • It's not about you - position them and their experience as the focal point.
  • Keep it simple - it's OK for conversations to be brief.
  • Be honest - it's better to be truthful if you don't know what to say or how to cope.
  • Be present - keep bringing yourself back to what they're saying.
  • If there's an emergency, dial 000.

For more information on how to ask 'are you okay?' and what to do if the person you ask says 'no' head to www.ruok.org.au.