AN IMPORTANT CONVERSATION THAT COULD CHANGE A LIFE… R U OK?
There are so many seemingly URGENT things that clamour for our attention every day, from work to the media to the everyday pressure of life, and sometimes the most IMPORTANT things get pushed aside in our busyness. Each year we, as a church and community, get behind this national awareness campaign which is all about making sure that the people around us, the people we do life with, are OK.
Social media can sometimes just be a ‘highlights reel’ of people’s lives and we often don’t slow down enough to check what is really going on underneath. However these people in our world are the most important mission that we have, whether that be our family or friends or people that we work with.
So as we rush through our days this week, try to take time to pick up the phone, stop and make eye contact and ask the question R U OK? It might just be the most important thing we do this week. If you are unsure where to start here are some simple ways to start the conversation, from the R U OK? website.
1. ASK R U OK?
Start a general conversation; preferably somewhere private.
Build trust through good eye contact, open and relaxed body language.
Ask open–ended questions.
“What’s been happening? How are you going?”
“I’ve noticed that… What’s going on for you at the moment?”
2. LISTEN without judgement.
Guide the conversation with caring questions and give them time to reply.
Don’t rush to solve problems for them. Help them understand that solutions are available when they’re ready to start exploring these.
“How has that made you feel?”
“How long have you felt this way?”
“What do you think caused this reaction?”
3. ENCOURAGE action.
Summarise the issues and ask them what they plan to do.
Encourage them to take one step, such as see their doctor.
If they’re unsure about where to go to for help, help them to contact a local doctor or other health professional.
“What do you think might help your situation?”
“Have you considered making an appointment with your doctor?”
“Would you like me to make an appointment or come with you?”
4. FOLLOW UP.
Put a note in your diary to call them in one week. If they’re desperate, follow up sooner.
Ask if they’ve managed to take that first step and see someone.
If they didn’t find this experience helpful, urge them to try a different professional because there’s someone out there who can help them.
“How are things going? Did you speak with your doctor?”
“What did they suggest? What did you think of their advice?”
“You’ve had a busy time. Would you like me to make an appointment?”
So let’s all take up the challenge to slow down and do the IMPORTANT things this week rather than simply just the URGENT.
And if you yourself are struggling at the moment please talk to someone, a friend, a family member, a pastor, someone that can help you through this period because we need you strong for the journey.