All about the mind

R U OK Day and connecting with the world

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This past week we have had World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th of September and R U OK Day on the 11th of September. It’s interesting that the theme for this year’s Suicide Prevention day is One world connected. Because in a way, that’s what R U Ok day is about. It’s about reminding us to connect with our friends, family, loved ones, colleagues, and even strangers by asking them if they are ok. And taking the time to help them out and listen. I initially wanted to post on both days but life got in the way and I felt like I wasn’t doing justice to the posts. And then I figured, why should the message go out on just one day? Why can’t I spread the message about suicide prevention and mental health awareness even after the supposed days. Because the message is still just as important.

It’s ironic that while today we are connected more than ever thanks to social media and the Internet, there is still a lack of meaningful connections in this world. How many of us genuinely spend time listening to someone when we ask them how they are doing? And how many of us respond honestly to that question anyway?

We continue to have a wall in front of us. Continue to wear masks. Continue to fear taking risks in case we get hurt due to the stigma.

But we need to start somewhere. I’m not saying stigma doesn’t exist. Oh it does. And I fight that stigma on most days by trying to educate parents, teachers, clients, other professionals, friends. I try to fight against the myths associated with suicide and mental health. I don’t know if I make a difference but I try.

So what can you do to truly connect with someone?

Be open: Listen with an open mind and an open heart. People talk when they know you are genuinely listening. I have previously talked about how to listen.

Offer to help: When someone is struggling with mental health, offer to help in ways you can. If you are not the best in listening, be honest about it and help out in other ways. Is there something in their life that’s stressful? See if you help with that.

Don’t be afraid to ask if they are thinking of suicide: Don’t worry, you will not be putting ideas into their head. I cannot stress this enough. Find out if they have a plan or if it’s just vague ideas. Take them to the hospital emergency department if they have a plan or if they have means to carry it out.

Remember, suicide is not a cowardly act: Sure, when a loved one successfully commits suicide, we get angry {along with the sadness and pain}. But if you know they have plans or thoughts before any act, it is important to remember they are not cowards for thinking that way. It’s just that they are so depressed and hopeless they truly cannot see another way out of the pain. Once you know that, you are more likely to be empathic and connect with them.

Recognise the early signs: Notice if their behaviour has changed significantly. Are they more withdrawn? Do they sleep a lot? Has their appetite and weight changed drastically? Have they lost interest in things they used to previously love? These are all signs of depression. It’s important to take action early and get help as soon as possible.

Be aware. And let’s all truly connect.

So I’m asking you now: R U OK? 

Do tell me…

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Hugzilla
    September 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I’m doing OK, Sanch. Thanks for this post, I like that you have put it out there that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask people about any suicidal ideation they may be having. It’s weird, I would think that an “impolite” thing to ask but you are right, when someone is struggling we need to put some of those silly notions aside, and steer away from the polite veneer of social bullshit that keeps us apart.
    Hugzilla recently posted…Seven Rookie Errors I Made as a First-Time ParentMy Profile

  • Hugzilla
    September 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I’m doing OK, Sanch. Thanks for this post, I like that you have put it out there that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask people about any suicidal ideation they may be having. It’s weird, I would think that an “impolite” thing to ask but you are right, when someone is struggling we need to put some of those silly notions aside, and steer away from the polite veneer of social bullshit that keeps us apart.
    Hugzilla recently posted…Seven Rookie Errors I Made as a First-Time ParentMy Profile

  • vishalbheeroo
    September 13, 2014 at 4:00 am

    An informative post on suicide. I agree with you suicide is not a cowardly act. We need to do away with stereotypes and human prejudices.
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…World Suicide Prevention Day 2014: It’s Not Just a StoryMy Profile

  • vishalbheeroo
    September 13, 2014 at 4:00 am

    An informative post on suicide. I agree with you suicide is not a cowardly act. We need to do away with stereotypes and human prejudices.
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…World Suicide Prevention Day 2014: It’s Not Just a StoryMy Profile

  • elly stornebrink
    September 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Love your post Sanch! I didn’t realize there such a thing as an R U OK day…I love that! I wished I had known but it’s now the next/following day! Oh well, next year! I am OK now though I was upset about something earlier…I may blog about it later… And how are YOU: Are you OK?! 😉 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…LOA: Suicide, Homicide, and MeMy Profile

  • elly stornebrink
    September 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Love your post Sanch! I didn’t realize there such a thing as an R U OK day…I love that! I wished I had known but it’s now the next/following day! Oh well, next year! I am OK now though I was upset about something earlier…I may blog about it later… And how are YOU: Are you OK?! 😉 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…LOA: Suicide, Homicide, and MeMy Profile

  • G Angela
    September 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for inspiring, I have never heard of R U OK day, thanks for sharing !

  • G Angela
    September 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for inspiring, I have never heard of R U OK day, thanks for sharing !

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