Parents. We hear you. We are listening. We know how incredibly tough this year has been. Isolation from friends and family, kids at home 24/7 needing entertainment, food (my goodness the amount of food!), attempts to retain jobs, find new jobs, fear of ditching existing jobs that we hate because we’re scared we won’t find another one right now. REMOTE LEARNING. And as for “it takes a village to raise a child”…..well, what village?! We can’t even see our families for a cuppa let alone get any respite or babysitting support!
So if there’s one question we need to ask each other this week it is “R U OK????”
And not just because some organisation decided that September 10th is good for R U OK Day to promote mental wellbeing….but because frankly, we REALLY need to check in on each other right now.
We are all hearing words like “we’re all in this together!” but, how can we actually put these words into action?
The R U OK campaign is all about reaching out to someone that you think may be doing it tough and just following these four simple steps:
- Ask R U OK?
- Listen (without judgement)
- Encourage action – this means not just self-care strategies, but referring them on for professional support if you are really worried about them
- Check in – this means a few days later follow up and see how they are feeling now. Did they take the action they said they would? Do they need further support? Is it time now to suggest professional help?
For many people, the knowledge that someone is thinking of them is enough. For others, it takes someone asking the question for them to actually open up and talk honestly about their struggles. And for others again, the question may be the difference between serious harm or safety.
So let’s all give it a go – because that’s what “we’re all in this together” really means.
For more resources, check out www.ruok.org.au and look after each other, and yourselves.
Madeline Sibbing is the Principal Psychologist at the Northern and Hawthorn Centre for Child Development. Madeline holds a Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology from Monash University. Her sixteen years of professional experience has been attained within government and independent schools in assessment, therapeutic interventions and consultation with children, adolescents, parents and teachers. She also developed primary prevention programs, mental health awareness activities and teacher training in a secondary college. Madeline spent several years working as an Educational Psychologist in London, UK, as a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society. She is a registered supervisor with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, supervising Masters of Psychology candidates and newly-registered Psychologists.
Consistently described as an engaging, down-to-earth and knowledgeable therapist, Madeline obtains enormous joy from working with children and young people… as often evidenced by the sounds of laughter and silliness emanating from her therapy room.