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Blog: Three Powerful Words: Are You OK?

OK hand sign

In recognition of Mental Health Month, Centegra Behavioral Health Services would like you to consider conversations. Not just ordinary ones, but the ones that can change lives.

These conversations start with three little words and can help someone admit that he is overwhelmed, struggling with a problem or not feeling like himself.

Those three words: Are you OK?

The conversation will only be meaningful if you ask the question with a real desire to take the time to listen without judgment, to really listen and to be there with that person. If you are quick to jump to conclusions or rush the conversation, the person who might need your support will find it hard to open up. So be ready to ask the question and be ready to hear “I’m not OK.”

Show that you care. Be the person he can count on. Find somewhere to talk that is private and comfortable for you both, somewhere where there’ll be no pressure to end the conversation quickly.

Ask open-ended questions. These questions start with “how long,” or “what has been happening” or “why do you think that is?” They can help the person open up.

Once someone starts to admit he is struggling, help him take one small step to improve the situation.

A person may need encouragement to think about what he can do differently. He may need help to figure out what would make life easier. Ask, “have you spoken to anybody else about this?” If he’s feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmed or stuck, he may need to seek professional help.

Knowing one person cares can be profound. In fact, three little words can change a person’s life. Change a life and ask, “Are you OK?”

Shira Greenfield is a licensed clinical professional counselor and is the ‎clinical manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services for Centegra Health System.

Centegra Behavioral Health Services offers inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs for adults with mental health issues and partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs for adults who struggle with addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Additionally, there are three psychologists within Centegra Physician Care who see people age 10 and older on an outpatient basis for a variety of psychological issues.

Contact 800-765-9999 for more information.