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Why we need to ask RUOK? How to ask? When to ask? Who to ask? and why do we have one day a year to ask RUOK?

History of RUOK? Day

In 1995 Barry Larkin died by suicide, he was dad to Gavin Larkin (the founder of

RUOK? Day. This death devasted family and friends. Gavin decided to do something about it.

He decided to make a documentary with Janina Neame when it quickly became apparent that a national campaign was needed. And, RUOK? Day was born in 2009.

Gavin was passionate that having a simple conversation could save lives. In 2011 Gavin did an Australian Story, which is an ABC network program. You can watch it here.

He tells us of his father’s death and how RUOK? Day came about. It delves into his family life and loss. Gavin was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2011 and his son was diagnosed with brain cancer.  Both he and his son shared their stories of cancer. They then spoke to his wife, she talked about how difficult it was to go from a family five down to three in such a short time. She carries on the legacy of Gavin, sharing her story and keeping the conversation going.

You can also watch another Australian Story about his legacy here.

RUOK? Website

Take a look at the RUOK? website. It’s so well set out. I love the way they lead you through “How to ask RUOK? It leads you through the 4 steps on how to ask and what to say. There’s a conversation guide to download.

How to stay connected

How to stay connected and make asking RUOK? a part of your everyday life. There’s information on a conversation that could change a life.

The page goes on to guide you:

  • How to get ready to ask
  • It’s got video role plays of conversations you might have

They’ve even collaborated with Deaf Connect to make sure the message gets out in Auslan.

I encourage you to watch the Auslan videos to get a sense of how a deaf person feels in a hearing world. There are subtitles but, just watch the signing and see how you go. Do you understand what they’re saying? How connected would you feel if others didn’t understand the language you spoke?

The wrap

We all need to be included in RUOK? Day. Watch Australian Story and see how it started with tragedy and how a conversation can save a life.

Go to the website a really be prepared for that conversation because you might be surprised and shocked with what the other person wants to share with you.

Remember, no judgement. Everyone deserves to be heard.

If you need support there are services who can help you 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

  • Lifeline 131114
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back service 1300 659 467
  • Mens Line Australia 1300 78 99 78
  • Kids help line 1800 55 1800
  • 13 Yarn 13 92 76 (for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people
  • Q Life 1800 184 527 (phone and online anonymous LGBTI support and referral 3pm till midnight local time 7 days a week).

I hope this helps you.

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