Wednesday, September 12, 2012

R U OK? A conversation could change a life

Sometimes I'm not OK either.

Tomorrow is R U OK? Day...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.  This is one day that I fully support with all my heart.
Staying connected with others is crucial to our general health and well being. 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.
People that suffer from depression display many symptoms:
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Change in mood control
  • Varying emotions throughout the day
  • Change in appetite and weight
  • Reduced ability to enjoy things
  • Reduced ability to tolerate pain
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Loss of motivation and drive
  • Increase in fatigue
  • Change in movement
  • Being out of touch with reality
I have suffered from depression for a number of years. I am lucky that I have the support of my husband, my family and friends...and most importantly, that I sought professional help. Last year, I described how difficult I was finding life. When I read that post now, it seem like it could have been written by a different person. I'm glad that someone asked if I was okay.

Right now, my heart is breaking for a special friend whose husband ended his life this week. I don't know if a conversation would have helped. All I know is she is now left to raise two young children. I can't even begin to imagine what she is dealing with, and how she is feeling. I have no words...just complete shock.

Just to is OK to ask for help, but sometimes the conversation needs to be started by someone else.  Please, start a conversation today...
What else can you do?  There are a number of resources available on the R U OK? website for work, school, uni, sport and health. I have printed out and displayed the posters and contact numbers on the OHS notice board in my workplace. If it helps one person, it has done its job.

Do you need help? Please contact your local gp, speak to someone you trust or one of the agencies listed here.

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