Isn’t it tragic to hear of people who take their own lives?
This can happen in circumstances where, whatever is going on within, could have been shared with someone who cares.
The concerns could have been shared with a supportive anonymous stranger at the end of a helpline.
A recent report from the Samaritans in Ireland tells us how many phone calls they have had in the last five years. I would have thought ten thousand, maybe fifty thousand. But in the five years up to 2019 the Samaritans in Ireland have had 2.3 million phone calls.
In Ireland the See Change Green Ribbon Project aims to reduce stigma associated with mental health problems and challenge discrimination;
Just imagine the number of lives that have been saved by a listening ear. Imagine the lives that might have been saved if people could have opened up in a time of distress.
But for so many who did not seek help we think “If only they had opened up”
“Are you OK day” is a national day of action held in Australia on the second Thursday in September
The title of this project is simply the four letters R U O K
On this day people are reminded to ask family, friends and colleagues the question “R U O K ?. The question is to be asked in a meaningful way. Connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference to anyone who might be struggling.
R U O K Is a project that could usefully be copied and taken up the world over.
R U O K is a ready-made opportunity for each of us to apply in our different families, neighbourhoods and workplaces.
And even now for you, and I, and for the people who might be encouraged by us, it could become a regular practice to ask with sincerity “Are you OK?
And we must remember to listen attentively for the response
So, let us resolve to watch out and to watch in
May your watching OUT be a blessing on all the people you see as you go about your day,
May your watching IN give you the courage to be who you are. May it give you the courage to reveal who you are to people who would care for you and love you, IF they really knew you,
And, watching out and watching in, may all of us find happiness and support in being involved in something greater than ourselves,
The world is out there waiting and hoping to see us all as we really are.