R U OK OzBargainers? (2019)

R U OK?

R U OK? Day is an annual day in September (today, 12/9) dedicated to remind people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, "R U OK?", in a meaningful way, because connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference and even save lives.

We do this every year and it's good to see R U OK? Day doing events all year round and not just September 12. So have these conversations today, next week, next month and throughout the year.


Hot Tip: Medicare provides for 10 free (or subsidised) sessions with a psychologist after a referral from a GP. It's free/cheap so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Most mental health issues are very much treatable with professional help. Trouble is that most of us are too scared, embarrassed, or lack self awareness to seek professional help. If you have a broken foot, most people will have no hesitation in seeking a doctor because we know it can be fixed but for mental health issues (which can be just as well treated) we quietly carry on even though the pain and harm may be 1000 times worse. (credit: Bluberry)


The comments and PMs we received last year are part of why we are proud to support R U OK? Day by changing our colours and promoting their cause.

One of the biggest challenges to OzBargain and other online social media sites (e.g. Instagram, Twitter) is promoting an environment where everyone feels comfortable commenting and discussing issues (or deals). We should all recognise that our comments have consequences both positive and negative. People don't participate on a discussion site to be attacked or bullied. While some people may say 'suck it up' and that people should not be so sensitive, we should be aware that we don't truly know the people behind these accounts. Some are young, some may come to here to escape a tough reality, be mentally unbalanced, or they possibly could have thick skin. We just don't know.

On the flip side, a simple gesture such as thanking someone or sending a friendly PM can go a long way. We made a post about contributing to a more positive OzBargain environment and we've had some great results changing some users behaviour by thinking about the impacts of their words.


Over the years of running this initiative on OzBargain (and offline) we've also received some comments making jokes about RUOK? Day. While those people may be OK, many times they are not both in real life and on OzBargain. Keep asking, be meaningful in the way you have your conversation and don't ask just today but any day.

We have forums where you can discuss relationships or anything else off-topic. Also, if you see any comments where you think the person may be struggling, please report to us and we'll get in touch.

You can also feel free to chat with us in the private Talk with a Moderator forum if you have any OzBargain related issues. Or send me a PM about whatever you want (except moderation issues). Please see our Mental Health Page if you need to speak to someone including live chat.

For confidential advice and support call a crisis support line – such as Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

:)


What are the signs?

What they might say:
  • Things that sound more confused or irrational
  • Things that indicate a persistent drop in mood
  • Complain they have difficulty switching off
  • They are struggling to see a future
  • They believe they’re a burden on others
  • They feel worthless or alone
  • They feel trapped or unbearable pain
  • Talk about death, suicide and wanting to die
What they might do:
  • Change their mood or experience extreme mood swings
  • Withdraw or avoid friends, family or social situations
  • Change their online behaviour
  • Not enjoy hobbies or interests they once did
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Lose interest in maintaining personal hygiene or appearance
  • Behave recklessly, including increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Change their sleep pattern
What's going on in their life:
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Major health issues
  • Work or home stress
  • Financial difficulty
  • Study pressures
  • Loss of someone or something they care about

Comments

  • +18 votes

    Neil, Scotty & ozb team - are you okay?

  • +14 votes

    Fantastic initiative… just sad that we need to be reminded to Care for each other.

  • +2 votes

    Great stuff!

  • +1 vote

    R U OK?

    •  

      My sister being bullied at school. Spreading rumours/gossip, talking behind her back.
      She doesn't want to go school and see that btch. I'm no good with that stuff :(

  • +1 vote

    Thumbs up

  • +24 votes

    I think although it is a great initiative, I see 'R U OK' posted all around the forums but in a sarcastic way, and certainly NOT in a way that is asking out of genuine concern or with good intent. I have not yet seen it open a conversation when used in an online context, rather it shuts a person down from posting further.

    •  

      I don't think anyone throws it around sarcastically on this day but people are going to throw it around sarcastically every other day. Personally, i am ok with that, otherwise it would be some other snarky remark.

    •  

      i agree.
      i saw a matte grey mercedes amg with the number plate R U OK :(

  • +1 vote

    R U OK?
    Did your Amex stack get a good workout from Vogue? Make sure you are using credit cards responsibly!

  • +9 votes

    Im not ok, I want a good eBay deal without price jacking

  • +5 votes

    Heh
    Yeah lifeline
    They're great!

    Ring them up with a problem, get an automated voice over.

    If you tell them you're not well, they'll just ring the police and tell them to section you.

  • +11 votes

    (profanity) r u ok day?

    Is this a government initiative?

    Wednesday 11th September - " sorry, we don't have enough funding to help you with your problem"

    Thursday September 12 - " r u ok?" " I hope so cause you'll find no help here" perhaps you'd like to see what new tanks we bought for a war we're never going to fight instead?
    That should help with your bipolar

  • +1 vote

    My first RUOK day on Ozb! Looked it up and found jv's old thread.

    Great way to spread awareness!

  • +9 votes

    I’m having trouble with finding work and it’s affecting me financially and emotionally. How is this going to be of any help? Just trying to tackle issues in isolation is not going to take care of a persons wellbeing nor would they solve any problems.

    • +3 votes

      The important thing is, it looks like they're helping.

      You gotta give em that.

    • +7 votes

      Having someone ask are you okay, then having to reflect and think on the answer,could bring enough self awareness to know you have an issue that needs help to sort out, and could lead to you going to a GP and seeing a professional.

    • +4 votes

      Hey man, rough patches are only temporary so you need to keep it going. This is light at the end of the tunnel.

      •  

        As Tim Rogers said

        You can run so long from sadness,
        That you're never at home for the fun

  • +6 votes

    Fellow ozbargainers, R U OK?
    Such a simple question on face value but such a complex one for many. Please reach out for help if the answer is no, you're never alone.

    Mental illness doesn't discriminate, it impacts people from all walks of life. I think this recent video from the band disturbed does an excellent job of highlighting just how normal this issue is.

    https://youtu.be/gRGRduyCy_M

    Kudos to Scotty and the team for the work they do to promote this day every year.

    • -5 votes

      Sorry dude.
      We're all alone

      Having 1 day where some people pretend to give a (profanity) is pointless.

      It makes it as useless as that #freekofi or whatever that stupid shit was

      •  

        Sorry dude.
        We're all alone

        If that's the attitude you choose to have, then it is difficult to see the point of something like R U OK Day?. I do hope whatever is happening in your life to make you feel that way will get better soon.

        Having 1 day where some people pretend to give a (profanity) is pointless.

        It absolutely is not pointless though. Nothing stops you from checking in on others. Today is a day of action and reminders, hopefully to empower people to set a good habit of checking in on others (and yourself).

        • +5 votes

          If that's the attitude you choose to have

          I don't recall seeing "cast judgement" or "blame the victim" as a suggested R U OK? Day strategy.

          Perhaps a better thing to say would have been "what makes you say that people are all alone?".

          Ironically it's comments like yours that contribute towards the perception that this initiative is largely a waste of time. Most people are terrible at actually listening and asking non loaded questions when enquiring about another person's mental health.

          • -1 vote

            @Nomadesque:

            I don't recall seeing "cast judgement" or "blame the victim" as a suggested R U OK? Day strategy.

            Fair enough and I do apologise for that.

            The observation was made after reading the user's other comments in this thread, which seemed that the user was more complaining for the sake of it and had no real contribution to make other than ridicule scotty (OzBargain's) decision to change the theme for the day.

            Regardless, my comment was worded poorly and more of a reaction to the linked comment above rather than casting judgement, but absolutely I can see how it can be perceived that way.

            • +2 votes

              @IceCreamBandit:

              The observation was made after reading the user's other comments in this thread

              I'd say that people who feel like mental health support structures (e.g. friends, family, healthcare workers) have failed them in the past would probably be the first to line up to give this initiative a kicking.

              Sure, there's a chance that people will troll this thread, but surely today of all days is the best time to put that reactionary cynicism to the side and actually check in with people regardless?

              I think that's one thing that this initiative is trying to do; to make the questioner feel comfortable about kicking off the discussion regardless of the reaction you get back.

              •  

                @Nomadesque: Absolutely agree with what you're saying and I do apologise again for the comments above.

                Everyone has their own story and challenges and today is a day to check in with everyone and listen without judgement.

            • +1 vote

              @IceCreamBandit:

              had no real contribution to make other than ridicule scotty (OzBargain's) decision to change the theme for the day.

              It's constructive criticism. Studies have shown that people engaging in symbolic, but actually useless, behaviour saps their incentive to actually make real contributions. I appreciate the sentiment of the day, but it's very realistically arguable that the day existing is counter-productive.

          • +3 votes

            @Nomadesque: I check in on others constantly

            When I was sectioned in hospital yesterday, you know my first action was?

            A woman was with her sick & dying husband and was asking around another pillow, I went and got mine and gave it to her.

            I never had a pillow for my entire 8 hour stay.

            I just don't like this faux caring bull shit

            I live this reality, I don't need people who acknowledge it one day a year telling me how it is

            I got stories that would chill you to the bone and bring tears to your eyes.

            I know this for a fact cause it's happened many a time to my centrelink carer interviewer, my multiple psychologists and psychiatrists…

            Another thing, how many of your fellow Oz barginers have you helped selflessly and psychically made an effort to help..

            And on a random day too?

            Not just some special meant to guilt you into doing something so you can pat yourself on the back.

          • +1 vote

            @Nomadesque: It is a waste of time?

            Where's the government putting all. The money back into mental health?!?

            What does wearing yellow and telling you ring useless lifeline do?

            Ask anyone with a mental illness how " r u ok day"
            Makes them feel.

            They'll feel angry that no one cares or let's them have their dignity 364 days a year.

            If this was to be a worthwhile thing

            Why is it not on Christmas eve?

            You know how many people killing themselves at Christmas?

            • +1 vote

              @iamhurtin: I agree with most of your points.

              Our approach to mental health in Australia isn't working and the services that are supposed to help are in a parlous state.

              I won't pretend to know what it's like to be in your situation as it sounds like you've experienced the worst of it.

              At the urging of family and friends I've been to see GPs for referrals to mental health services in the past and have been shocked by the quality of care at that first step.

              An arbitrary box ticking exercise, quick diagnosis and referral to a bunch of psychs that I had to call myself. After calling each one, I was told that none of them were taking new clients. Fortunately I was far from being in a desperate situation at that time, but if I was I can only imagine how that experience would have left me feeling.

              The idea of getting ensconced in the mental health system in Australia scares me to no end, which is why I have done everything possible to stay off the radar.

              You mention getting "sectioned" which I imagine is the end point of too much time spent engaging with mental health services that haven't delivered any meaningful results for you. Is that about right?

              •  

                @Nomadesque: Ha! Nope. Being sectioned can be done too easily, quite often its involuntary and done by others.

                "The laws covering involuntary hospitalisation vary from state to state, but generally, you can only be hospitalised involuntarily if you’re judged to meet all of the following criteria:

                you have a mental illness
                you need treatment
                you can’t make a decision about your own care
                and one or both of these criteria:

                you are considered to be a danger to your own safety
                you are considered to be a danger to someone else’s safety.

                • -2 votes

                  @91rs: Public health support for mental health can't win.

                  Not able to involuntarily treat people? "Leaving people in the streets! Not providing adequate care!" blah blah blah.

                  Can treat them - yeah, of course people who're forced into treatment are going to complain.

                  Throwing money at the problem doesn't help - you need trained specialists and the fact is not that many people want to work in the field because it's a crap field to work in, and that's partly, or mostly, because of the patients.

                •  

                  @91rs: Oh sure, I'm aware of the laws but I'm asking about iamhurtin's case. I generally assume that involuntary admission only occurs when you're "on the radar", so to speak.

                  Unfortunately that can occur as a result of reaching out for help; whether that be through Lifeline, a medical institution or even family and friends.

                  The risk of involuntary admission is definitely a disincentive in seeking help, especially if you otherwise feel functional and OK despite what the rest of society is telling you. All it takes is for someone with authority to decide that you tick enough boxes and you lose your freedom. It's worse treatment than criminals are afforded in the justice system.

                  •  

                    @Nomadesque:

                    Unfortunately that can occur as a result of reaching out for help; whether that be through Lifeline, a medical institution or even family and friends.

                    Again, no-win situation. They admit themselves, show indications of possible self-harm or harming others, and are let go? The hospital gets blamed if something happens. Ask Quantumcat.

                    They're involuntarily admitted… you get complaints like yours.

                    What exactly do you think is the solution here?

                    •  

                      @HighAndDry: Yeah I do get as far as no-win situations, I have heard the complaints for when its needed but not available (or not easily) but also seen the other side of involuntary admission, which are basically forced because you go willingly or they will take you. Which is the same lines they run when medicating people, you take it willingly or you will be held and it will be administered.
                      Watched it very much derail a couple of peoples lives and a decade later they are in a worse position because of the voluntary-involuntary admission.
                      After seeing these things you learn to shut the f up about everything and anything and make sure you keep things to yourself.
                      Should make people very wary to be answering anything about being "ok" or more so not being "ok"

                    • +1 vote

                      @HighAndDry: All I'm saying is that the involuntary admission of some people who reach out for help has a chilling effect on others who might consider reaching out but don't for fear of having their freedom taken away.

                      As 91rs has outlined, once you're involuntarily admitted you no longer have a choice what happens to you regarding medication etc.

                      Personally I feel that someone shouldn't be involuntarily admitted for mental health reasons unless they pose a threat to the lives of others. AFAIK killing yourself is not a criminal act in any jurisdiction of Australia.

                      If you're thinking about committing suicide and you reach out for help, you should choose to be voluntarily admitted if the option is presented to you.

                      If you don't want to be admitted, then someone forcing you into a mental health clinic, drugging you up and subjecting you to talk therapy probably isn't going to change your mind.

                      Perhaps a cold approach, but I don't really see any other way around the issue.

                      •  

                        @Nomadesque: Pretty much my own view too. Except generally society looks down on not doing all we can to prevent suicides, even if it means involuntarily locking people up.

          • +1 vote

            @Nomadesque:

            Ironically it's comments like yours that contribute towards the perception that this initiative is largely a waste of time. Most people are terrible at actually listening and asking non loaded questions when enquiring about another person's mental health.

            This is reason alone is why ozbargain forums are the worst place to discuss this. This is OzGofkyourself where people judge your entire life on a single comment or forum post with absolutely no empathy or logic, and make no attempt at putting themselves in other people's shoes.

            Having felt depressed in my early years, I would much rather have gone to 4-chan and voiced my concerns, and received a "stfu". At least it's short and meaningless. Some frequent ozbargainers come in with toxic comments and get upvoted a shit load for their toxicity, and basically digging deep in telling the OP to GFYS.

            Why would anyone want to voice their concerns when people like the above are going to come in and shit all over you, and everyone else piling on? The only good thing about this is bringing awareness, but definitely not discussing it here.

      •  

        It makes it as useless as that #freekofi or whatever that stupid shit was

        That sounds like it was free coffee. How can you be dissing free stuff on OzB of all places?!

      •  

        Whilst I definitely agree that for many the day is about pretending to care, I also think the day has raised awareness and given some a platform to speak up. I know it's not the same for everyone and many use it to pat themselves on the back and move on, something you see on social media more than anywhere else.

        Personally I've had many in my life go through and still battling depression so the more awareness raised the better because the stigma still attached needs to be broken down.

        In regards to the available assistance, whilst many do a fantastic job, the government has been laughably pathetic in finding the much needed personal and facilities to adequately look after and help those who need it.

      •  

        Name checks out

    • +8 votes

      No I'm not ok, I'm single and feel lonely :(

  • +3 votes

    So that's what it was. Thought it was April fools again.

  • +1 vote

    +1 thanks for this and the charity stuff

    I do think ozbargain would be better for less trolling and more bargaining as the culture of the site has degraded at times and no doubt people feel hurt

  • +1 vote

    Thumbs up to the mods and big man Scotty!

  • +7 votes

    RIP Spud the great man was scheduled to speak at one of these today .

  •  

    Great work OzB. Love the R U OK theme!

  • +2 votes

    Scotty, is it possible to disable up and down votes for comments in this discussion thread?

  • +2 votes

    As a psychiatrist in making,I am so thankful for this post, it's amazing.
    Thank you very much

  •  

    Thank you OP.
    Didn't even know it was on today, but my daily habits of visiting OZbargain has informed me of this.

  • +16 votes

    Until last month I was on a slippery slope where I was eating terribly, not exercising, not looking after my appearance and always just being flat due to stress from work and a lack of sleep due to the birth of my first child. I must've put on about 10kg. Eventually my wife noticed and had a serious talk with me for me to realize that I wasn't happy with myself.

    After that I made a point to go shopping, buy new clothes to feel good and have made a point the cut out sugar, run a few times a week with a little bit of weights so my clothes arent as tight.

    I am down 4kgs already and have the energy to get on with life's pressures and am happy every moment I am awake.

    While the 'R U OK' question definitely lit a spark to get me to sort myself out, I just wanted to note that if you are having mental health issues ONLY YOU CAN FIX IT.

    Although cliche, ill leave with this quote from Rocky VI;

    "You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"

    Best of luck to anyone that is struggling. I believe you have the ability to beat it.

    • +3 votes

      Kudos for turning things around for yourself, but the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" pep talk doesn't generally work all that well for people with mental health issues that can't be cured by shopping, eating well and/or exercising.

      I think today is supposed to be more about listening and asking questions than doling out unsolicited advice. That's generally what people experiencing mental health issues deal with on the remaining 364/365 days of the year.

      •  

        but the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" pep talk doesn't generally work all that well for people with mental health issues

        I mean, sure seems like they had some mental health issues with:

        eating terribly, not exercising, not looking after my appearance and always just being flat due to stress from work and a lack of sleep

        It might not work for everyone, but nothing works for everyone.

    • +1 vote

      I think you should be happy that your wife noticed and got you back on track. At least now you know there's someone looking after ya.

    • +2 votes

      Not everyone's health issues are as easy to solve. Professional or other specialised intervention is often required. "ONLY YOU CAN FIX IT" is ultimately true, but sometimes that means asking and allowing others to help fix it.

  • +7 votes

    this whole day is a joke anyways, friend of mine killed himself 2 days ago. depression is more common these days with all the technology showcasing people have better lives than us, etc. get off social media & you wont be suicidal.

    • +2 votes

      R U 😶K?

    •  
      1. I'm genuinely sorry for your loss. I've lost a few friends lately. I can empathise :(
      2. Suicide existed before social media. You can't blame it alone.
      • +2 votes

        I feel there’s so many more life stresses these days than there were before. I know these existed earlier but if I was an average family in Sydney, with kids and a $1m+ mortgage I’d feel a lot more stressed.

        Add in additional things like rising costs, lack of job security, low wage growth, longer commutes etc it’s no wonder people have more mental health issues.

      • +2 votes

        social media can exaserbate the issue, but having people feel more aware that they are disconnected, seeing how easy and successful everyone else seems to have it, but only ever seeing the good side of them … everyone struggles …

        •  

          Social media also brings people together. I'm in contact with school friends I would never have stayed in touch with before. I don't doubt that not knowing how to properly manage social media can contribute to depression and low self esteem, but it's not a one sided proposition.. Think of all the support groups on social media. Heck in a very real sense you're using one right now.

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