Editorial: Sometimes "are you ok" is all you need

Editorial: "ARE you OK?' Sometimes this is all you need to say to someone you think might be struggling with life's issues.

You see, sometimes people are very good at hiding their real emotional crises ... a bit like an iceberg really ... what you see might be only part of what is really there.

The national support group beyondblue has reminded us that when the dark becomes unbearable people take their lives - and today seven Australians will end it all in despair.

It may be someone in your family, a person you work with or a mate on your footy team.

The challenge comes when you think there might be something amiss but say nothing out of concern that you may be prying.

It is better to put your hand up if you need help, or lend a hand if someone is struggling, than not to say anything because you don't know what to say.

Many people do not know what to say or worry they could make the situation worse by approaching that troubled individual.

But if you do reach out that moment can become the one where that person takes the first step towards recovery.

Take a look around you today and consider whether your partner, work colleague or friend is coping. A smile, a few words or a kind gesture may be just what they need.

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