Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day, a day to check in with ourselves – are we thriving, coping, surviving or feeling overwhelmed?

And if we’re ok, maybe to check in with those we care about.

There’s a (really short) poem I like: “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith – inspired by something she read about a man who drowned and whose friends thought he was waving to them, not drowning.

She compares this to the way in which people in everyday life sometimes try to be ‘brave’ and/or pretend to be ok, when really they’re not.

There’s a video on YouTube where she explains it and recites it – the whole thing is only a minute and a half long but so poignant…

If you feel like you’re overwhelmed or drowning today, or heading in that direction, please consider not pretending you’re ok but, instead, reaching out for some help – before you feel even worse.

And if you, yourself, are doing ok, maybe look around you – at your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours – do any of them look like they might be pretending – not waving, but drowning? Could you reach out to one of them, perhaps, to check in – and, if they are, throw them a lifeline?