R U OK? The Question That Changed Lachlan’s Life - Hope 103.2

R U OK? The Question That Changed Lachlan’s Life

R U OK? Day encourages openness about mental health, but one NSW man reveals why it’s crucial to ask the question no matter what day it is.

By Mike CrooksWednesday 7 Sep 2022Health and WellbeingReading Time: 3 minutes

It was a question that turned his world around, and it continues to have an enormous impact on his life.

After struggling with his mental health for years, Lachlan McTackett told Hope 103.2 that he thought he had finally turned a corner until a mate, Neill, asked him, “Are you OK?”

At the time, they were in a shop and Lachlan, who is from Newcastle, NSW, broke down in the middle of the shopfloor, and he wasn’t sure why.

“I honestly couldn’t give you a reason for it,” the university student said. “Sometimes you just don’t have one.”

Lachlan, 23, is now a spokesperson and fundraiser for harm prevention charity R U OK?

Thursday 8 September is R U OK? Day

Thursday, September 8, is R U OK? Day, a national day of action whereby people are encouraged to ask about the well-being of their loved one, friend, colleague – or anybody that they care for.

The question – Are you OK? – encourages a meaningful conversation, says the charity. It is meant to be asked when a person feels that someone might be struggling in some way.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

For help with knowing when and how to ask the question, visit here.

“Domino effect”

Lachlan’s story began in 2018, when he was 19.

He was feeling out of sorts, but he didn’t know why.

It was a feeling he couldn’t quite pin down, and it was something he felt he needed to keep from his mates.

It was a feeling he couldn’t quite pin down, and it was something he felt he needed to keep from his mates.

“Not because I didn’t need help, part of me knew I did, but I was convinced I needed to sort it out myself to avoid people thinking less of me,” he wrote in an inspiring article for R U OK?

Lachlan was suffering from depression, anxiety and had suicidal thoughts.

Eventually his feelings were so overwhelming that one day he broke down in front of three mates and told them how he was feeling.

“That one conversation created a domino effect,” he said.

“I started sharing with my family and close ones to get the help that I needed. And more importantly, that conversation wasn’t the last – my mates made sure they checked in on me regularly.”

Turning point

A year after he opened up about his struggles, Lachlan posted about his mental health battle on social media.

“I wanted to share my experience in the hope to reach someone who needed to hear that things can get better,” he said.

“And to encourage people to check in on a mate or family member who hasn’t been themselves lately.”

“I wanted to share my experience in the hope to reach someone who needed to hear that things can get better,” – Lachlan McTackett

What happened next, blew him away.

Not only was there a wave a support, but many people shared with Lachlan their own mental health struggles.

Which is exactly what R U OK? is all about: opening a dialogue about mental health issues.

“Since that day I have adopted the R U OK? message into my every-day life,” Lachlan said.

“Checking in with those around me and prioritising my own mental health.”

A friend like Neill

The question – Are you OK? – still has a big affect on Lachlan’s life, as was evident through Neill’s caring query in that shop.

Lachlan told Hope 103.2 that anyone can be an “R U OK?” friend to someone, like Neill was to him.

“Send a text or DM, make a phone call or pop on over to check in on your mates,” he said.

“And if they are OK, they will know if they’re ever struggling, they can come to you.”

For more information and resources visit ruok.org.au.

Feature image: John Veage / R U OK?