The amazing thing about traveling is not only to meet new people, see new places, try new cuisines, and so on – you also get to know organisations and movements you have not heard of before. For example did I find out what ‘Movember’ is when I was in Sydney back in 2012. By then, this charity-initiative wasn’t widely known in Germany (at least I and also my friends had never heard of it), but in Australia it was already very big.
Now, 3 years later, I am back in Australia and today I heard the first time of ‘R U OK’.
What sounds so trivial is actually a great institution: their mission is to encourage people to ask more often meaningful (that’s important!!) if someone is okay. That could prevent more suicides caused by isolation, depression, burn-out-illness etc… such an important topic as the numbers of people affected are rising and depression sadly seems to be still a ‘taboo-topic’.
Today is the ‘RUOKday’ in Australia and as in many places in Down Under, there was also a big event on my university campus in Melbourne. With balloons, free coffee, posters and most of all many dedicaded, yellow-dressed volunteers, the organisation and their mission were made visible. ‘R U OK’ should remind all of us, how the simplicity of three little but significant words, can make a difference. We can make a difference by being more aware of our surrounding – not only by asking “Are you ok?”, but also by listening emphatically what and how people reply.
So, my dear family and friends and followers – R U OK?