September 6, 2019
The barbershop has long been a place that was considered a safe haven for men, a place where men could openly and freely discuss topics that may otherwise be considered taboo. A trip to the barbers has always been a time to reset and refresh, a time to feel good and often an opportunity for a quick chat and some open debate or discussion. This Thursday we look to use that discussion to raise awareness of a great cause by asking the question RUOK?
R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and to support anyone struggling with life. R U OK?Day is held on the second Thursday of September each year and is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone to ask, “Are you OK?”
Research has found that nearly two-thirds of Australians are not confident that they know the signs that someone might be struggling with life. About half of the people surveyed believe they’d be more confident starting a conversation if they knew the signs to look out for. Lets take a look.
What they are saying: Are they confused or irrational, moody, lonely or lacking self-esteem. Are they struggling to see a future or concerned that they are a burden on others?
What they are doing: Have they had noticeable changes in behaviour like acting more recklessly, becoming withdrawn, experiencing mood swings or losing interest in activities that they used to love.
What’s going on in their life: Have they lost a loved one, had a relationship breakdown or are they suffering from work pressure or financial difficulty?
By knowing the signs to look out for and by simply starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed if you observe them, you could help someone to open up. If they are ok, that person will be reassured that people care enough to ask. If they say they are not ok, you can help them get the support they need. Asking isn’t always easy, but it could change a life.
So this September we hope to help raise awareness while also making an effort to preserve those age old traditions of the barbershop, we hope to continue to provide a sanctuary for men, a place for social discourse, conversation starting and a place where it is okay to ask RUOK?.
For more information visit www.ruok.org.au or for support at any time of the day or night, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.