Ready to Ask
Before you can look out for others, you need
to look out for yourself. And that's ok. If
you're not in the right state of mind or you
think you're not the right person to have the
conversation, try to think of someone else in
their support network who could talk to them. To
help you decide whether you're ready to start a
meaningful conversation, ask yourself this:
AM I READY?
- Do I have the
right mind set?
- Am I willing to
- Can I give them
AM I PREPARED?
- Do I understand that if I ask
how someone's going' the answer
could be: "No, I'm not"?
- Do I understand that you can't
'fix' someone's problems?
- Do I accept that they might not
be ready to talk? Or they might not
want to talk to me?
PICKED MY MOMENT
- Have I chosen somewhere relatively
private and comfortable?
- Have I figured out a time that will
be good for them to talk?
- Have I made sure I have enough time
to converse properly?
1. ASK R U OK?
- Be relaxed, friendly
and concerned in your approach.
Help them open up by asking questions
like "How are you doing?" or "What's
- Mention specific
things that have made you concerned for
them, like "You seem less talkative than
- If they don't want
to talk' don't criticize them.
- Tell them you're
still concerned about changes in their
behavior and you care about them.
- Avoid a
- You could say:
"Please call me if you ever want to
talk" or "Is there someone else you'd
rather talk to?"
2. LISTEN WITHOUT JUDGEMENT
- Be relaxed, friendly and
concerned in your approach.
- Help them open up by asking
- "How are you doing?" or "What's
- Mention specific things that
have made you concerned for them, such as, "You
seem less talkative than usual."
- If they don't want to talk,
don't criticize or force them.
- You could say: "Please call
me if you ever want to talk" or "Is there
someone else you'd rather talk to?"
- Tell them you're concerned
about changes in their behavior and you care
Avoid a confrontation.
- Ask: "What have you
done in the past to manage similar
- Ask: "How would you
like me to support you?"
- Ask: "What's
something you can do for yourself right
now? Something that's enjoyable or
- You could say: "When
I was going through a difficult time. I
tried this... You might find it useful
- If they've been
feeling really down for more than two
weeks, encourage them to see a health
professional. You could say, "It might
be useful to link in with someone who
can support you. I'm happy to assist you
to find the right person to talk to."
- Be positive about
the role of professionals in getting
through tough times.
4. CHECK IN
- Pop a reminder in
your calendar to call them in a couple
of weeks. If they're really struggling'
follow up with them sooner.
- You could say: "I've
been thinking of you and wanted to know
how you've been going since we last
- Ask if they've found
a better way to manage the situation. If
they haven't done anything, don't judge
them. They might just need someone to
listen to them for the moment.
- Stay in touch and be
there for them. Genuine care and concern
can make a real difference.
Note: The truth is, some conversations just
become too big for family and friends. If
you're worried about someone and feel urgent
professional support is needed, contact your
local doctor or a crisis support center.
Like you, RU?OK is not equipped to offer
crisis intervention or expert counseling
and our website is no substitute for the
professional care available from the
webpage is courtesy of RUOK Australia