This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which caused me to wonder about this question - "Is it that people don't know where to turn for help, or that they don't want to ask for help?".
Take a smoker as an example. They know that smoking is bad for them, that it will shorten their life, and cause untold harm to the body. They also know that it costs them a small fortune, and more and more people find it socially unacceptable. Despite this, they continue to smoke - all the knowledge in the world will not change that.
The same goes for poor diet, being overweight, overspending, and many other examples. The knowledge is there, it is the desire (or difficulty in facing up to it) which is the challenge.
Lets turn to someone suffering from depression. Everyone knows of the Samaritans, more and more people have heard of MIND, CALM and many other great support organisations, yet almost daily, we hear of more people (and in particular young people) taking their own lives. Last Monday, in Cornwall, a young man aged just 19 could tragically face life no longer and ended it all.
Cast your mind back to the last time you just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide from the world. The last thing on your mind was probably wanting to talk to someone, and therein lies the challenge. At the very time you needed support the most, you wanted it the least.
Books on change do not necessarily help us a great deal either. A key point in adopting alternative behaviour is to be accepting of the change, be ready for it, and want to move forwards. The challenge of course, is that when we feel depressed, none of that counts or matters, we just don't care, so rarely will reach out for help.
There is no magic answer today , no five steps to this, or four reasons for that. Just a need to heighten awareness, that those who need help, may well not be in a place to ask for it. We need to be aware of that, to be mindful and sensitive, and just try to understand.
Get them through today, and see what tomorrow brings.