Sunday, 7 September 2014

R U OK? and Social Media?

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Suicidal Ideology, Self Harm, Depression, Anxiety.

For those of you who may not already know, I am studying Community Service Work Certificate IV.

The reason I am mentioning this is because of a particular subject we are covering just now, which has become even more relevant to my own personal experience with the up coming event of 'R U OK? Day' looming.

I often ask the question "Does R U OK? Day have a place on Social Media?” my answer is no. But that is just my opinion, the opinion of a person who does not feel connected, I am sure there are other opinions based on your own perspective/s. This post is not actually about inviting a discussion of our opinions however.

I've always said I don't want all my friends sending me a message on Facebook all on the one day of the year just because the media tell them it's the day to do it, particularly if they are not available to engage in your response when you post your reply later.

In my opinion, if you are doing this, then you have actually missed the point of the day.

People who are 'not OK' know it … you generally don't have to ask to get them to make a decision on that or to evoke thought on the subject, they think about it a lot. What they do need is a conversation or connectedness. So here are some points I have copied from the R U OK? Website in an attempt to help people understand truly, the seriousness and necessity of such a day.

Lesson Number 1:
R U OK? Day is about Suicide Prevention!

"R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009, whose vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide. Accordingly, our mission is to encourage and equip everyone to regularly and meaningfully ask “are you ok?”

Lesson Number 2:

"We know that suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge the world over. But we also know that some of the world’s smartest people have been working tirelessly and developed credible theories that suggest there’s power in that simplest of questions - “Are you ok?”"

"One of the most significant theories is by United States academic, Dr Thomas Joiner. Because his father took his own life, Thomas has dedicated his research to try and answer that question “why?”"

"His theory tries to answer that complex question by describing three forces at play in someone at risk. The first force is the person thinks they’re a burden on others; the second is that they can withstand a high degree of pain; and the third is they don’t feel connected to others."

Lesson Number 3:

"It's this lack of connection (or lack of belonging) that we want to prevent. By inspiring people to take the time to ask "are you ok?" and listen, we can help people struggling with life feel connected long before they even think about suicide. It all comes down to regular, face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life. And asking “are you ok?” is a great place to start."

My point is this, if you are not prepared to hear the answer and to truly listen to that person respond, get prepared! If you are sincere in your question, take the time to read THIS INFORMATION and learn, how to contribute meaningfully to the conversation.

If you are feeling suicidal or experiencing suicidal ideology please contact a 24 hour counselling support service in your area. In Australia there is Lifeline: 13 11 14.

If you cannot find a link or phone number phone '000' in Australia, '911' in USA and here is a link to numbers for other countries.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” 

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