RUOK? is the question which can save a life
SOMETIMES the hardest conversations are the most worthwhile.
Today is RUOK day.
So go on, ask it.
A small question with huge benefits.
Too often depression goes undiagnosed and untreated as people are reluctant to speak up.
A couple of years ago a much-loved member of my community killed himself.
The shock-waves are still rippling through, are still being felt.
If such a respected man, such a good, kind, intelligent and decent person with a loving family and friends felt such despair, someone who seemed to have it all what hope was there for the rest of us?
But I'm here to tell you there is hope.
Depression can appear in many shapes and forms.
Perhaps someone you know is being bullied or worse, is instigating the bullying behaviour.
Maybe they have become withdrawn or seem angrier.
So be a friend, ask RUOK?
Take them out for a cuppa, pop over with a home baked dinner or a packet of chocolate biscuits or ask them to walk the dog with you.
Don't give up on your mate.
But don't do this on your own either.
Get them to professional support; this is too big a burden for any one person to carry.
And if you are suffering from depression, please speak up.
I know what it's like; I've been there and asking for assistance is bloody difficult.
Reaching out was much harder than anything I'd ever done before.
I felt like a loser for admitting I could not cope on my own.
Now I've been on both sides of the black dog.
Sometimes you feel the barking just won't stop. But it will.
So please, take that step. Ask someone RUOK?
And if someone else asks - be honest. Even an "I don't know,” is a good place to start.
If I can do this, you can. Believe me, it's worth it.