Thursday, September 15, 2011


“The good I stand on is my truth and honesty.” ~ William Shakespeare

I'm taking a pause on my blogging break to post about this important day:

What is R U OK? Day 

R U OK? Day states that it is:
"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".

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I have a friend who took her own life a few months ago. I wrote a post about it, but I deleted it because an unfortunate snowball effect occurred. Someone who was acquainted with my friend discovered the post. Even though only her first name was written. (Google at its worst?) She told someone who then told someone that then led to someone I know who was also a very good friend of my friend. She expressed her disappointment and enmity for my post. She commented that I aired my friends circumstances for all to read without regard. She believed that my post may garner gossip amongst other people who also knew my friend and evidently disclose the issues she had in her life.

I respect her opinion. I did not want that post to darken the beautiful memories we have for our friend. I just did not want to increase the grief nor cause any further offence to her, and others who knew my friend.

I wrote the post during a very distraught and raw time. I was so ignorant and naive to think that my lowly blog and that post would even be discovered. In the post I questioned things, mentioned possible issues she may have faced. I was trying to put the pieces to the puzzle together. I wrote about our friendship and the loving memories I had of her, the bulk of the post. Essentially, I wrote in the hope that what I was feeling in my grief: lost, despondent and confused, would allow transparency for those left behind after suicide as well as information and links to those who were feeling alone and depressed.

I'm not proficient in my writing and being only new to blogging, I wrote from my heart and I attempted to destigmatise suicide with written conversation. Maybe my words didn't come across that way. I didn't air anything that wasn't already known by many and would eventually be a topic of heartfelt discussions and not as grounds for gossip. Hopefully the people who were in her life would find peace and resolution for those who sought it. Possibly the answers to the WHY? It makes me sick to my stomach to think that someone would abuse the truth for scandal (or be accused of it) rather than reflection and an understanding of a beautiful soul.
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As a youth worker for the past 17 years and most especially as a human being, I have always supported and advocated for young people living with mental health illnesses, child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, body image, self esteem and suicide prevention. By censoring these topics all we do is continue to stigmatise. All we do is become emotional blanks, who turn our backs to those who need support and help. I'm no one special, just someone who gives a shit and someone who had a friend who died by suicide.

I will continue to support, advocate, provide comfort and share my experiences. I will never judge. Talking and writing about these issues is important. I believe we all have a responsibility and obligation to talk about suicide and the issues that may have led to it in order to dispell myths and increase community understanding; as a means to provide information and support and to not allow these issues to continue being taboo. As well as providing enough resources for prevention.

"Nothing will change until someone acts" (R U OK? Day)

Since the death of my friend, R U OK? Day is EVERY DAY for me now.

I will NEVER bury my head in the sand.

How to start a R U OK? Conversation. Click here.

Go on, pick up the phone and call someone.

Services and Websites:

I would also like to thank Madam Bipolar for all the support and information you have given me. I appreciate everything you do. You are definitely an amazing and inspiring woman!