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R U OK? Day: Our friendly reminder to be friendly

r u ok day
14 September 2017

As you may know, today is R U OK? Day, whose mission is to “inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.”

Mental health issues including depression are common for people living with MS. Given around half of people diagnosed will experience a depressive episode (which is three times higher than for the general population), R U Ok? Day’s message of looking out for friends and loved ones, is absolutely vital for the MS community.

Do you have the feeling that someone you know or care about is “out of sorts, more agitated or withdrawn, or they’re just not themselves”?  R U Ok? Day prompts us to “trust that gut instinct and act on it” by starting a conversation.

Their website has some fantastic resources, including a step-by-step approach on how to ask, breaking it down to these 4 simple steps:

1.       Ask R U Ok?

2.       Listen without judgement

3.       Encourage action

4.       Check In

To read about these steps in more detail visit:
https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

For more detailed information on MS and depression, including tell-tale signs, suggested steps, and relevant resources and services, please read/print or share our Depression factsheet:
http://bit.ly/2eUhyLJ

ABC TV’S Australian Story recently featured the extraordinary, touching story of the late R U OK? Day founder Gavin Larkin, and his incredible legacy. If you missed it, the program will be available for stream/download on ABC iview until 27/9/17:
http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/australian-story/NC1701Q030S00

Today (and every day), we ask you to reach out and ask one person the simple question, “Are you ok?” Likewise if someone asks you, tell them how you feel. Please share the R U OK? Day message with your social media networks today, and show people you’re there to talk to when they need you, (or when you need them).

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support right now, we urge you to call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636. If it’s an emergency call 000.