Thursday, 15 September 2011

RUOK?

Well are you?

I hope this question can make a big difference, I really, really do. I unfortunately can’t help but be a tad sceptical towards the proffessionals running this campain as in my experience, sometimes the people who do ask for help seem to be the ones that get labelled attention seekers or simply ignored. To get help in the past it would seem you have to be dragged kicking and screaming against your will to a hospital by a third party. Then they might listen.
I wrote HERE about my friend who tried to commit suicide a few years ago, the one they tried to release from hospital 24 hours later cause she ‘promised’ she wouldn’t do it again. It was lucky her mother put her foot down at the hospital that day or my friend would have simply taken her next opportunity. Struggling with mental health issues for over a decade, she went up and asked for help, simply and directly a number of times, but obviously she didn’t ‘really’ need it as she had asked on her own, without duress. No help was given, not even a referral. That was why she gave up.
So it’s all very well for us to ask RUOK? But if that answer is a NO, then what? Will anybody actually be there on a professional level to help you or will you just be filed in an office somewhere while the beurocrats hope that you somehow get over it or you take matters into your own hands so that your name can be crossed of their little list and they are seen to be doing their job. So the people running this campain ask us RUOK? I hope that they are prepared to listen to the answer.
I’m sorry about my cynical view on this subject, and I hope so much that this day gives people an opportunity to talk to their friends, talk to their family, even write about it on their blogs, because sometimes it’s just the act of talking to people who give a damn that helps you realise you are not alone and makes you feel so very much better.
Everyone has their bad days, there is no such thing as the perfect mother or perfect person. We are all in this world together, learning to manage the cards we have been dealt, the best way we can with the tools we have been provided and as long as we are trying, we can be proud of that. But sometimes knowing that simply isn’t enough.
 If you are in a position where you feel like you are out of options, go and speak to someone. Your partner or a friend, or even a neighbour and tell them you are NOT ok, get them to act as your support person and go and ask for help together. They will stand up for you if you are feeling too beaten down to stand up for yourself, they can argue with a medical ‘professional’ for you and they can put their foot down like my friends mum did.
Trust me, your family, loved ones and support person want you alive and healthy. If it comes to it go and stand in the Emergancy waiting room together and refuse to leave until both you and your support person are comfortable and completely satisfied with the next step, weather its hospitalization, medication, or simply a referral.
 So, R U OK?
Talk to someone, and get help together. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

2 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

The optimist in me hopes you are wrong and the cynic agrees with you. I wholeheartedly agree that the asking is not worth anything without the follow through.

Daisy, Roo and Two said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Suzi, in terms of it being best to approach a family member or friend. The message I most took away from R U OK? was that it really was about making a connection to hopefully prevent little problems turning into the bigger ones. To be able to find out, help, or get help from our nearest and dearest before it gets to the point where we need to be heading to the emergency room.
And I think that as the years have been rolling by mental illness and the misconceptions about people needing help either not wanting it or not being able to ask for it are slowly but surely on their way to gone. If all R U OK? day does is get people talking about mental illness, mental wellbeing and their relationships then I think it's done it's job.
You can call me a delusional idealist now ;)