This week I’m going slightly off topic for a good cause and linking up with Gemma from My Big Nutshell for RU OK Day.
This post isn’t going to be a long one and the contribution I’m looking for won’t cost you a cent. There are lots of other people writing about their own personal experiences with depression and its devastating impact on their lives and the lives of those around them. When I first considered taking part in this link up I didn’t think I’d have any really direct personal experiences to share. Life’s been kind to me so far, with more of life’s ups than downs to have to deal with. As I mulled over the topic during the last few weeks I started to count up the number of people that I and my family have known over the years who have been affected by depression and I started to realise they really did reflect the statistics. One in five of of us will experience depression at some point in our lives.
The symptoms of depression can manifest in different ways for different people and I am in no way an expert on the topic. The common thread that runs through the situations that have touched my experience of depression is that these people, despite significant challenges in their lives presented outwardly as very positive and bubbly people with everything to live for.
Today, Thursday 15 September, 2011 is R U OK?Day. It’s a national day of action which aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones.
On that day we want everyone across the country, from all backgrounds and walks of life, to ask family, friends and colleagues: “Are you OK?”.
Staying connected with others is crucial to our general health and wellbeing. Feeling isolated or hopeless can contribute to depression and other mental illnesses, which can ultimately result in suicide. Regular, meaningful conversations can protect those we know and love.
It’s so simple. In the time it takes to have a coffee, you can start a conversation that could change a life. You don’t need to leave a comment here. Just pop next door, hop in the car, pick up the phone and ask someone “R U OK?”
The R U OK website has some guidelines on how to start this conversation here
The following are some recommended help and information contacts:
Black Dog Institute www.blackdoginstitute.com.au
Culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal backgrounds
Multicultural Mental Health Australia www.mmha.org.au
Local Aboriginal Medical Service www.vibe.com.au