I’m not going to quote from this post, because there’s just so much in it that you should read the whole thing, and because I couldn’t decide which part to quote.
Chelise makes some strong points about how stigma gets in the way. How it creates a lack of research and funding into suicide prevention, how shaming people prevents them from seeking help in the first place, etc.
That’s all true. More than that, it’s true for people around you right now. Statistics tell us that right now it is very likely someone you know is struggling with their mental health. That may or may not include suicidal thoughts, but there’s little question in my mind that it is happening with someone you know. If you knew, would you suggest they get help? Would you know where they could get help?
Let me share a recent experience in my own life. I recently had a bit of an injury to my knee while traveling. I don’t yet know the severity of it, I’ve been referred to an orthopedic surgeon for further tests and told to wear a knee brace until I can get in there to prevent any further injury. When I first injured it, I was able to get up, walk and continue about my business, albeit in some pain. When the pain was still there 10 days later and I mentioned to my wife and a coworker, both of them had the same response, go get it checked out, which I did and now have the brace.
No one told me to “walk it off”. No one said it was all in my head. No one has suggested I don’t need the prescription I was given for pain. The response has universally been, go and find out what’s wrong and what the doctors need for you to do to take care of it.
As much as my coworkers are kind, thoughtful people, I can’t help but wonder if I said something about feeling depressed or anxious, if the response would be the same? For my wife, I know it would be, because she is acutely aware of my previous issues. For the rest of the world around me? I’m not so sure. I do believe some would have the same response, but I’d bet good money the response would not be universal.
That’s a problem. There is a sickness killing people and we continue to blame them for dying. How does that make any sense?
As I said, go read the whole thing: