Need help now?

R U OK? Day

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


R U OK? Day

Message contains a hyperlink

Coming up on 14th September is R U OK? Day, a day which you may have heard about before. This day focuses on opening up genuine conversations about difficult issues, and can be a great springboard for talking to your teen about their wellbeing. By facilitating a discussion, you can check up on them when they may find it difficult to speak up first. You also show them that you’re a safe place to go when they need help.

When asking your teen if they’re OK, here’s some tips:

  • Ask: Find a good time to bring up the conversation. You may find it helpful to be in a casual setting, or to mention something that you’ve noticed in their behaviour that’s different from normal. Remember that it’s okay if your teen doesn’t want to talk to you then and there. It may help to have an ‘ask now, text later’ approach to give them space.
  • Listen: Giving space for your teen to open up about their experiences is essential. This means not to rush the conversation, interrupt, or to make judgments while they are still talking. Active listening may involve asking questions about how a situation is making them feel, or clarifying anything you didn’t catch the first time. 
  • Encourage Action: Don’t jump into offering solutions. Your teen may benefit from being guided towards taking action for themselves, and you can help by asking the right questions. You can always ask what role they would like you to take in helping them.
  • Check In: It’s important to follow up with your teen to see how they’re going. Being there for them is more than just one day. If your teen still isn’t feeling OK, consider what support you can bring in for them.

You can learn more about R U OK Day on their website

ReachOut has a range of articles on how to communicate with your teen.

How to have a great conversation

Effective communication and teenagers

Ask questions that encourage your teenager to talk

Do you know how your teen is going?

There may also be instances where your teen asks ‘R U OK’ to you, or you need to let them know that you’re not doing well. We have an article here on How to talk to your teen about your mental health difficulties which gives suggestions on how to have this conversation.


Our forums are a safe space to come if you are not feeling OK and want to talk about your concerns for your teen. Headspace Family offers support for parents and carers of young people through online, phone or group chat support with a trained clinician. Each state also offers a Parentline which provides free telephone counselling support for parents. If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, Beyond Blue offers brief call or online counselling sessions.