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Are you okay?

Sometimes, just asking that simple question can change the trajectory of someone's day, someone's week, or even someone's life. Mental health is a passion of mine, from my academic background to my relationships, to my own daily life. I think it is so important to check in with ourselves, our loved ones, and random people we encounter who look like they could use some kind words. I wrote this poem while thinking about the importance of mental health check-ins and trying to figure out what that looks like for myself and the people closest to me — asking for help, asking each other if we're okay, and being prepared for if the answer is no, and providing space for each other to not be okay. These are just some of the small things I landed on. I would love to know what a mental health check-in looks like for you in your life. Take care and please be kind to yourself.

Content Warning: Please note that this poem alludes to suicidal ideation.

Are you okay?

"Are you okay?" asked absolutely no one at all.

Watching from their perches to see if she'd fall.

Her silent calls for help seemed to go unheeded.

She began to turn inwards, feeling unneeded.

Nobody questioned why her light shone less bright.

Not a soul stopped to notice she was giving up the fight.

Caught up in showing how they are thriving,

Not paying attention to her barely surviving.

Her blank eyes cleared of their previous spark,

Her thoughts veered off course towards the dark

Energy diminished, the effort no longer worthwhile.

She sat very still, trying to conjure a reason to smile.

Eyes closed, the tears swam in abundance.

She wished that she could have just one more chance.

"Are you okay?" inquired a voice from close by.

Her eyes fluttered open. She did not want to die.

"Me?" she replied, surprised to be seen.

"Yes, you. I've been wondering how you have been."


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