R U OK? Day focuses on new campaign ‘I am here, to hear’

Today is R U OK? Day—reminding Australians to take the time to check in with their community.

Image credit: R U OK? Limited.

Today, Australia comes together for R U OK? Day, an annual National Day of Action. Whilst this day is dedicated to the importance of checking in with our friends, family, and colleagues, its message extends far beyond this date—because every day is a chance to ask, ‘R U OK?’

The strength of this initiative lies in its simplicity—the belief that a single question can change a life. This year, in the lead-up to the event, a fresh campaign titled ‘I am here, to hear‘ has been launched in response to new research that reveals that over four in five individuals who had a meaningful conversation felt better equipped to handle their situation after discussing it.

The campaign is a powerful reminder that sometimes all it takes is letting someone know you’re truly there to listen to them. It’s not about offering solutions or fixing problems—it’s about providing a compassionate ear, showing empathy, and allowing someone to feel heard.

Since its inception in 2009, R U OK? Day has been much more than just a day. It’s a movement that aims to promote regular, meaningful conversations and create a more connected world, one where we’re shielded from the devastating impacts of suicide. Statistics show that 8.6 people take their lives every day in Australia (as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2021), and over 65,000 Australians attempt suicide every year.

To better grasp the impact and importance of the R U OK? message, Andy Arnold, one of the R U OK? Community Ambassadors has recently shared his story.

In 2014, Andy faced an unthinkable tragedy when his younger brother took his own life with the loss leading him down a path of advocacy for positive mental health. Today, Andy, a husband and father of four, volunteers at Lifeline Australia, manning the phones for the Crisis Support Line, and has completed his LivingWork’s Asist training to further his suicide awareness and intervention skills

Andy also works in the construction industry and regularly makes himself available to listen to colleagues, family, friends and the broader community, firmly believing that asking, “R U OK?” can genuinely be life-changing.

Andy’s story is just one of over 50 Community Ambassadors representing R U OK? across Australia. Each of them, with their unique experiences, highlights the impact that checking in, listening, and engaging in meaningful conversations can have on people’s lives.

R U OK? is encouraging all Australians to create space for meaningful conversations today and beyond. Asking R U OK? is the first step, but genuinely listening to what comes next is just as important. This year, on R U OK? Day, reach out to your community and let them know that you’re here to hear—because a simple conversation can change a life.

For guidance on how to approach these conversations and to find free resources, please visit Join the conversation online using #RUOKDay2023 and #RUOK.

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