Last Thursday, September 9 was RUOK Day. Some may think, that because I am only now referencing the occasion in my newsletter, I forgot the day.
That couldn't be further from the truth. RUOK Day was the basis of many conversations and several stories on and leading up to September 9.
However, it occurred to me during those conversations that we need to draw attention to the importance of asking the simple question RUOK? on any day.
The focus of the specially designated day is key to reminding people, including myself, of such an important subject.
RUOK Day was founded in 2009 by Gavin Larkin in honour of his father Barry Larkin whose suicide in 1995 left family and friends in deep grief and with endless questions. Gavin chose to champion just one question RUOK? in an effort to protect other families from the pain his endured.
Without a doubt, the message of RUOK Day is one we should adopt everyday.
Mental health and the struggles of people - especially through the global COVID pandemic - is a subject at the forefront of concern for many. We could all do with someone checking in with us from time to time, better still we could do with someone who will listen to our response.
Each year the designated day draws attention to that very special question and provides ways to follow up the question by listening to the response of people, encouraging them to seek support and checking-in with them.
The focus of the 2021 campaign was to repeat the question "are you really okay?"
In this message I send out today I want to encourage people to be mindful to ask the question RUOK? year-round. I also encourage people to not look past those who seem happy and content, because sometimes the smiles hide a secret or sadness.
Please also consider the options for support that are available to those who are struggling.
So as I sign off on today's newsletter I have one very important question, RUOK?