When asked, ‘how are you?’ how many of us simply reply ‘I’m OK’, even though we may not be. We all have highs and lows but, unfortunately for some, the lows are more constant and more extreme. I can’t imagine what it must be like if that’s your default response, yet feeling low was a more regular state of mind and there’s no one you can rely on for support.

In recent years it seems suicide has touched my family and friends in one way or another, and as a mental health advocate it saddens me that people feel that there is no way out, that suicide is the only route.

In my experience, what many people still don’t seem to realise is that there is no ‘one type’ of person that can be depressed and have these types of thoughts. It can happen to any of us, at any time in our lives. It surprises me even now, when I hear people say ‘they don’t seem the type’, or ‘he/she always seems happy’, or ‘if people don’t talk how are we supposed to help’. My response will always be, ask don’t assume, listen don’t judge and most of all, remember to just be there for that person.

I found Ross’s story truly remarkable, and an inspiration to anyone that finds themselves with similar thoughts and feelings.

There is so much help out there for those suffering, and even though it is true to that many people suffering with anxiety or depression will often struggle to take the leap to ask for help, surely it’s up to us to support each other as kind human beings.

It takes enormous courage for someone to speak up and express how they’re feeling, anyone that takes the time to listen could be the help they really need.

Mind, Rethink, and Samaritans are just a few of the resources available to anyone suffering right now, please remember you are not alone.

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