What would you say if a little child fell down in front of you?
What would you say if you came across an elderly person looking obviously lost in a public place?
What would you say if you met a Mum coming out of the supermarket juggling a newborn and grocery bags?
What would you say if you realised that you were seeing your neighbour outside less and less often?
What would you say if a work colleague arrived from interstate and after some time still looked lost?
What would you say if you hadn't heard from a friend or family member in a really long time?
What would you say if your sister seemed to be adding more and more to their already busy life and was regularly swinging from being fully energised to totally exhausted?
What would you say if your child became withdrawn and each day found an excuse not to go to school?
What would you say if your partner were to stumble upon a rough patch but seemed to be buzzingly bright?
What would you say if you looked in the mirror and realised that the person looking back wasn't coping?
I'm fairly certain that it in the first two or three examples above, you would automatically stop and ask
"Are you OK?"
As you read down the list though, I wonder how many of us have the strength or conviction to reach out and utter those three simple words "Are You OK?".
Starting a conversation like this can be daunting because we're not sure what we'll hear and many of us feel ill-equipped to deal with the answer if it's "Not really."
The thing is, what if someone you know or care about really isn't coping and doesn't have the ability to reach out themselves, what then?
Fortunately there are oodles of resources available to support us and they are readily accessible at the click or tap of a button. One of the best things that I've read in a long time is the material contained on the 'RUOK?' website. They have a great page that details how to have that difficult conversation, guiding you step-by-step and offering options if the person you're worried about doesn't want to talk.
I'll be having one of these conversations today with someone I care about immensely.
It's not the 'starter' conversation, but a follow up to check in on how the journey is going for them.
They have done the same for me many times and with great love and patience as I navigate the obstacles I face with my own anxiety & depression and for this I am truly, truly grateful.
As you read each of these golden speech bubbles I hope that you've been able to answer "Yes!".
I hope too that you might be inspired to ask someone you know those three little words today.
Please visit the website for more information or click on the image below to take you to someone who can help.
To read more posts just like this, hop on over to Gemma's space "My Big Nutshell" where she's hosting a very special blog hop for the next week.