This week just gone, in Australia, was national mental health week. As you can imagine all the issues faced by people around the world are exacerbated by remoteness and faced at a much larger level in places like the #Ngaanyatjarra lands of remote desert WA.

This week on Compass, on the ABC, film maker Darius Devas shared his battle with anxiety and depression, which was brought to the fore by the suicide death of his friend Alice. The episode, titled ‘The Common Thread’, explored the issues by sharing the stories of others Darius met during a road trip from Coffs Harbour to East Arnhem Land, where he was attending Alice’s funeral.

The rawness, and openess, with which Darius and his interview talent discuss these issues, make for emotional and compelling viewing.

I’m left thinking about my own battles with these demons, and yet, with a great appreciation for the good fortune I’ve had in my life. Sure I’ve been through some of this shit but the loss I’ve suffered in my life wasn’t through suicide and I’m not forced to battle demons using medications on a daily basis.

The most obvious take home message from this film was, talk to your friends. The other way of looking at this, of course, is, be ready to listen when your mate starts telling you how life is. More to the point, really engage with what they are saying and find the time to take it on board and help if it’s needed.

In the words of our man Molly, ‘do yourself a favour’ and watch this 30 minute film. Really watch it, don’t multi screen or have it going in the background, take it on board