There is more to say after R U OK?

Director of Counselling Services and psychologist Joseph Degeling has urged the importance of following up after asking 'are you ok?'

“IGS has been marking R U OK? Day for quite a few years now, and despite all the restrictions, 2020 was no different,” Mr Degeling said.

This year’s theme was There is more to say after R U OK?

“Students and teachers participated in many different learning activities in the lead up to and throughout the day,” he said.

“The importance of a day like R U OK? Day cannot be overstated – conversations can and do save lives.

“It is through connecting and communicating with others that we share our problems, and while some problems can be really hard to solve, having someone hear you out and validate how you’re feeling can be a very healing experience.

“The theme this year was an apt one.

“There is more to say after ‘R U OK?’ and it’s not complicated.”

Consider these four steps:

1: Ask “Are you OK?” Or maybe “How are you going?” or even “I’ve noticed you’ve been a bit down – is everything OK?”

2: Listen without judgment. Try to really hear what they are saying; take what they say seriously.

3: Encourage action. Encourage them to do things that are helpful, such as seeking further help – from a professional if needed; exercising a bit more; trying to get more sleep.

4: Check in with them. Keep checking in with them, especially if you notice they are continuing to struggle.

If you would like some more information on how you can continue to support your children, or if you have any questions or concerns for them, please do not hesitate to reach out.

You can contact the counselling team at counsellors@igssyd.nsw.edu.au, or please call on (02) 9219 6700.