Today is R U OK? Day This is an Australia national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?'
So why has this venture been put in place? As it explains on their website, by raising awareness about the importance of connection and providing resources throughout the year the R U OK? Foundation aims to prevent isolation by empowering people to support each other through life's ups and downs.
The end result of the sort of isolation being considered here, all too often can end in suicide. I know. Been there, done that twice. First time I simply didn't know what I was doing and it didn't work. Second time is still hazy but someone found out what I had done and called an ambulance. All I knew was that I came to in the local hospital Emergency ward, being copiously sick.
I was fortunate in that my attempts, for whatever reason, did not work. The great love of my life was not so fortunate as she took her own life back in 2004. I won't go into all the details but frankly I was not in any shape to be able to do anything meaningful, being pretty much a mental jellyfish at the time. My bastard employer sent me that way and I still consider them responsible for it all, including her death.
R U OK? is about simply being nice to people. Even if they say they are fine when they aren't, the right approach can mean more than you realise. That little positive can mean the difference between being depressed and in need of help, and that of doing yourself in.
Depression is a form of mental illness. And that is what it is - an illness. Just like a cold or the flu but unfortunately with greater ramifications for treatment.
In a previous post I reflected about bullying and someone I had once bullied, turning that around toward the end of my high school years to make sure I just gave him a friendly greeting when I saw him. That teenager had been depressed and previously counseled for a suicidal mindstate. Just to have someone give him a friendly 'g'day', calling him by name as they walked past gave him a visible boost. Admittedly I started doing so because of guilt over my treatment of him several years earlier. But in my advancing years I realise that it really can be that simple - be friendly, show some friendly concern.
You might just be saving someone's life.
Now if you have an opinion on what I'm blathering about or even just
feel like saying hi, then don't be afraid to leave a comment or post
something to me via Twitter or Facebook. I don't bite - at least not
always. Or even follow the blog by email.