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Are you OK?

Kereama Carmody - Master Plumbers / Masterlink Wellbeing Coach shares his update:

Thursday 8 September is R U OK Day. The day was first started in Australia as a way to remind people to check in with at least one of their friends, family, colleagues, etc.

On a personal basis, having been in the mental health field for the last 20 years, it’s probably easier for me to read the signs and know when to check on how someone is feeling. For others, this can be a difficult but important question to ask when you are worried about someone.

Traditional Kiwi culture has made it challenging to ask the question – we have a psyche of “Oh, he’ll be alright” or “Harden the.....up”. Then when someone we know has some kind of mental health crisis, we’re all a bit uncomfortable about it. The fact is, most people will face a mental health challenge at least once in their life and one of the things that can help make sure they stay safe is when they can share their problems.

And just asking “Are you OK” is not always enough. If they’re not OK, stick with them and be there as they navigate what they’re dealing with. Perhaps guide them to where they can get some help and continue to check in with them to see how they’re going.

In all my years of working in the mental health field, I’ve followed my intuition and asked questions when I think that someone is suffering mentally. Most of the time, I’ve been spot on. The sooner we can break down the Kiwi (mainly male) psyche of showing no emotion and seeing mental health issues as a sign of weakness, the sooner we can start to reach out, speak up and connect.

So, this Thursday (or sooner), ask your workmate, friend, partner – “Are you OK?”

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