Urging others to reach out

BUSY AT WORK: Fiona Levett tidies the racks at Sportspower. She is telling her story to empower others in the community to speak up.
Nanjing Night Net

They are three little words that can save someone’s life.

SPEAKING UP: Emma Jones was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in her teens. She says talking helped her accept the diagnosis.

Thursday, September 10 was R U OK? Day, anational day of action dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends.

Mental health awareness is important at any age. While the signs of poor mental health may not be visible, they can be as debilitating as any physical condition.

Cootamundra resident Fiona Levett bravely shared her journey with depression with theCootamundra Heraldthis week.

In her early 30s, a wife, a mother, with a good job andloving family, Fiona felt so flat she could barely function.

“I can only describe it as like being a baby again, I couldn’t look after myself and I couldn’t look after anyone else,” Fiona said.

In her favour, she was quick to recognise the signs something was not right and sought help.

Fiona spent three weeks in a hospital in Canberra being treated for depression and remains on medication today.

“I was very lonely, I felt empty inside,” Fiona said of those darker days.

“I wasn’t sleeping and I was so anxious; the anxiety was a killer,” she continued.

“It is the cruelest thing you will ever go through.”

Most knowEmma Jones for her bubbly, smiling face front of house at Woolworths supermarket.

What they don’t know is Emma has had depression for more than half her life.

She noticed she wasn’t sleeping and had developed an obsessive compulsion to wash her hands.

“For me, it was a ‘nothing’ feeling, you don’t feel happy, you don’t feel sad, it’s a numbness,” Emma said.

When she finished high school, recognising the issue was not going away, shesaw her GP.

She reiterated that seeing a doctor does not necessarily mean someone with symptoms of depression will be put on medication.

Emma says communicating about her depression has become important to help others.

“I look back now and the place I was in terrifies me,” Emma said.

She said she can see now it was difficult for those around her to broach the subject of her mental health but credits her friends and family with her life for having the courage to speak up and encourage her to seek help and maintain a healthy path.

R U OK? Day was run in conjunction withWorld Suicide Prevention Day this year.

Mental Health Australia confirms as many as 2,500 Australians take their own lives each year –this means morepeople are dying by committing suicide than on our roads.

If you need to talk please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on1300 224 636 or visit梧桐夜网ruok.org419论坛.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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