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If you have a gut feeling that someone you know is not doing OK, chances are you are right. It’s time to ask R U OK?

They may have a lot on their plate, or simply not acting their usual self.  R U OK? Day today is the ideal time to  strike up a conversation with someone you are concerned about. Asking them R U OK? deosn’t mean you have to have the answers if the person says “no” – it’ simply a way to show them you care and encourage them to speak to someone who could offer help and guidance.

RU OK? started six years ago when much-loved Barry Larkin was far from ok. His suicide left family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions. In a bid to honour his father and protect other families from similar pain, Gavin Larkin chose to work with Janina Nearn on an awareness documentary. Realising there was more that could be done, the duo established R U OK?, and while Gavin died in 2011, the cause is a well-supported legacy.

The R U OK? website has very useful information on how you can start a conversation with someone you are concerned about. Go to . As the site says, it’s not about being an expert; it’s about following some simple, caring steps.

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Alana Lowes

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