Across Australia and the world people are facing an unprecedented situation as our health authorities and governments act to manage the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The coronavirus pandemic comes as many Australians are still feeling the impact of recent bushfires, floods and drought. It’s very normal to not feel OK in challenging times such as these. Watching and listening to media and social media coverage and commentary can be confronting and confusing. However, at a time when we’re being asked to physically distance ourselves from one another, we can make use of freed up diary time and our digital devices to stay connected.
It is now even more important that we all promote a sense of community, reach out and ask our friends, family and colleagues, “Are you OK?”.
Some people in your world might be feeling anxious, worried about when things will return to normal, be physically unwell or concerned about their health and wellbeing. We encourage you to use this time to pick up the phone, video call, SMS or post online to check in and see how those in your world are travelling. If you’re feeling well and able to support someone, reach out and let them know you’re there to help now and for as long as it takes.
Remember to trust the signs. Be aware of any changes in online behaviour or the way people communicate:
Consider the tone and language they’re using
Are they posting more or less?
Are they answering your calls?
Are they communicating as you would expect?
If you are concerned about someone, trust your gut and ask “Are you OK?”. Listen with an open mind to what they have to say and ask them what you can do to help. In the current circumstances there might be limits on what you can do but you can definitely be a listening ear and a (virtual) shoulder to lean on.
In the words of our founder Gavin Larkin, “Getting connected and staying connected is the best thing any of us can do both for ourselves and anybody who may be at risk. That said, it’s not just about those at risk, we want everybody in Australia right across the spectrum of society to reach out to the people in their lives that they care about and essentially let them know that they do care by asking R U OK?”
Whether you’re struggling yourself or worried about someone else we urge you to stay connected.
By R U OK?