Australians ask Google ‘RUOK Mate?’

September 12, 2019
Layne Beachley holding an RUOK sticker

R U OK Mate? It’s a simple question, that can save lives. Yet, what is said after this question is sometimes the hardest part to navigate.

It’s why we have partnered with R U OK? to help Australians with the difficult conversation after a friend answers, ‘No, I’m not ok’.

Taking the form of an innovative Voice Application, Aussies can access the app via their Google Home or Assistant by simply saying ‘Hey Google, Talk to RUOK Mate’. The Action on Google talks users through five scenarios, allowing them to virtually role-play conversations based on situations that might indicate someone is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

The Action offers practical tips on how to offer support to those who need it and helps the user navigate through four-steps; Ask R U OK?; Listen; Encourage Action; and Check In.

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton says it’s important to deliver the R U OK? message to people in ways that keep pace with changing technology.

“We know the majority of Australians believe talking to someone who’s struggling can make a difference,” she said.

But what we’re focused on is building confidence in people, so they know when and how to have an R U OK? conversation.

"It’s vital we utilise new ways to build confidence and ‘RUOK Mate’ has the potential to do that in a way that we have not seen before. Together, with support from organisations such as The Works, we hope to empower people to trust their gut instinct and ask the question as soon as they spot the signs that someone might be struggling with life."

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