Similar to something I’ve written elsewhere, I think the article below, especially the part I’ve quoted, gets at something so basic, and yet so overlooked.
“The biggest obstacle for people who are struggling is shame. Like me, many people feel the weight of the stigma that mental illness holds. It creates a cloud of embarrassment and guilt around the struggle with mental health, which, in reality, is something almost half of Americans will experience at one point in their life. But if we encouraged talking about our emotions more, perhaps we’d help people before their thoughts turned to suicide.
Suicide is merely a symptom of a larger issue, a world where being unhappy isn’t okay to talk about. The rhetoric of checking on your friends needs to extend beyond those you think are struggling and to our everyday conversations.
The best way to do that? Talking about our own feelings.”
We ask people during times like Suicide Prevention Month to talk, to reach out, to check on their friends, and start conversations, etc. But do we model those behaviors in our day-to-day lives? Do you create an environment, at work, school, home, or in our own communities where talking about mental health issues is just something that we all do, and not a shocking thing to talk about? Because I can guarantee you, someone who is dealing with depression isn’t going to see a social media post about reaching out and do just that without having someone they know will actually help to reach out to.
The only way people will know that is if they see that behavior and hear these stories in their own community. Can you be part of creating that?