There were two important dates this week that shine a spotlight on mental health.
Thursday was RUOK Day which encourages people to ask that simple question of family, friends and colleagues, "Are you okay?".
The day hopes to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.
You don't need to be an expert to reach out - just a good friend and a great listener.
Organisers recommend that to start an R U OK? conversation people should use these four steps:
1. Ask R U OK?
3. Encourage action
4. Check in
It's simple stuff but it could save a life of people around you, so its impact should not be underestimated
RUOK Day came two days after a related occasion.
Tuesday was world suicide prevention day and there was a march through Mount Isa to mark the date.
I have attended in past years but missed it this year due to a conflicting appointment however it is something I wholehearted endorse.
It was a terrible irony that on that day we were directly affected, when the newspaper was contacted by someone unhappy about a story we had written.
While feeling sympathetic to the person's concerns, we felt the person's criticism of the story was not fair.
We tried to explain why we had written the story and the way we had written it but the person remained unmoved.
Alarm bells rang when the person said they were considering suicide before hanging up.
We contacted police, not to make a complaint, but to ask them to check in on that person. Later I spoke to that person who was not happy we contacted police but I firmly believe we did the right thing.
Despite what the song says, suicide is not painless.
It is a scourge we must all address.
If you are struggling with mental help issues or need help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.