RU OK Day is a national day of action in Australia which aims to reduce suicide by encouraging people to connect with each other and ask “RU OK?” I have dear friends whose lives have been deeply affected by family suicide and I have seen the pain left behind.

R U OK? Day was inspired by the death of Barry Larkin (1940 – 1995). Barry was a fascinating and successful business management consultant who took his own life. His son Gavin Larkin (1968-2011) partnered with television producer Janina Nearn in 2008 to develop a campaign that would inspire Australians to stay connected and support people doing it tough.

R U OK?Day was launched in 2009 in Canberra. R U OK? is dedicated to Barry and all people who have died through suicide, and to the family and friends who love them. Please visit:

Reach out and try to help, a conversation could save a life. Who will you ask?

More parental torture

My youngest child wants to bring her four best friends home for a sleepover. Why not invite the whole class? And hold it in a park. In winter. SLEEP over? Why does this pastime designed for maximum parental torment have that name? There is no sleeping involved. While her little mates stay up all night screaming and discussing the ramifications of the situation in Gaza, Mummy is visited by the Snark Fairy. Couple that with PMT (no, I’m joking PMT doesn’t exist) and you have a very chirpy, pre cocktail hour solo mummy. No, my little lovelies, I gave up sleep deprivation at the same time my babies gave up nappies. It is time to tell my children that our house has become a meditation retreat, on the weekends we will undertake a vow of silence. Nighty night kids, Mummy says sssshhhhhh.