Thanks To Those Who Put Their Hand (and head) Up.

Last night I sat and watched a media item on a new suicide prevention campaign launched in New Zealand by a well-known advocate, Mike King. I get nervous when I see people putting themselves out there in the media like this, opening themselves to criticism, ridicule, and scorn.

And he's not the only one who is doing so, there's Sir John Kirwan who encourages the need to talk openly about depression. There's so many others who champion the rights of equality, women, health, sexuality, freedom, peace, prisoner reform, bullying, the list goes on.

Why would someone do that, put their hand up to help others when they know that there is a fair chance that they are going to face negative comments or actions by others?

Sure, there might be some other motivator in behind the actual cause, but there are many other ways to satisfy that motivation without popping your head above the parapet leaving yourself vulnerable to being shot at.

It is a bold thing to do, even brave I suggest, to take on the 'system' in this way. It takes courage to speak out against what professional organisations are saying, to challenge people's knowledge, to go against common understanding, to say what you believe is right when you know that others will think quite differently.

It is never easy reading negative comments when you put your hand up in this way. You can't ignore it no matter who you are.

The impact on the person, their family, and their well-being can be enormous when they open themselves up to become a target for the negative world.

When I ponder as to why people would want to put their hand up knowing that they are going to rock the boat in some way, I always come to the same conclusion, because it might help just one person. And that's what it is all about, helping each other.

I have two challenges for you to consider; put your hand up when you believe in something as passionate as those who currently do so, and, resist the urge to comment negatively on those who risk themselves to help others.

It's about time that we started working together, to try new things, to challenge conventional practices, to rock the boat a little, and to support those who dare to put their hand up.

For those who currently put themselves out there to help others, thank you for doing so.