Last week was mental health awareness week and this years theme was loneliness. Something we can probably all relate to given the events of the last couple of years living during a pandemic. But you don’t have to be physically alone to feel lonely. Probably one of the loneliest times I’ve ever felt was when I was surrounded hundreds of other people on deployment. Thousands of miles away from home and watching the Australian CSE show and the band Simply Bushed came on. They had a song called “I’ll See Ya” about meeting up with a mate but not knowing when it will be as life seems to get in the way. The song completely floored me. Here I was sat in middle the crowd and it felt like I might as well have been stranded in the desert. All I wanted to be was back home with my mates having a pint and ripping into each other about how bad our football teams are. Of course that’s not always possible when you’re in the Armed Forces. Whether it’s on deployment, or posted to the unit miles away from home, you can feel so isolated and alone regardless of how many others are around you at the time. This is why it’s extremely important to keep a check on each other. With some it’s can be quite obvious something is wrong. Their body language changes, they’re quieter than usual, or they might snap for no reason. For others its harder to tell as they act normally when around others but break down as soon as they are alone with their thoughts. Even a simple “Are you Ok?” and greeting everyone you come in to contact with could be enough for them to open up about a problem, or for you to find someone to confide your own issues with. Whatever it might be. By doing just one Buddy Check a day. It might just make the difference.