While Sarah admits, and I agree, that being honest about mental health does make some people very uncomfortable, it is important.
“There are a couple of reasons that I post so openly, so frequently, about the state of my mental health. And none of them have anything to do with the people who don’t want me to do it.
Firstly, and most importantly, I firmly believe that there are not enough people engaging in conversation about mental health. “
Recent Olympic news is a great example of this because mental health has been a front-page story during these Olympics, and that has given all of us an opportunity to talk about mental health. Let’s be honest though, not every social media comment about it has been supportive, exactly. Some have been downright dismissive, condescending, or even hateful. As others have pointed out, and I have pointed out in years past though, it’s not the athlete who is hurt by these comments, it’s the people who you are connected to who are suffering in silence who are hurt by these comments. The ones who desperately need to know they’re not alone, and that their friends would support them, who see that, in fact, their friends wouldn’t support them, so they remain in the shadows.
Simone Biles may not see your comments about how she is “playing the mental health card” but your friends who are suffering in silence will
— joanna (@joannar1012) July 28, 2021
Those folks need the opportunity to see another side to the story, and the more people who can safely tell their stories, the more we can let those folks know that they are, in fact, not alone.
If I’ve learned one thing from having this website for close to 20 years and being active on various social media platforms, it’s that you never know who is reading, and how it might impact them. Some people will tell you, and others will never mention it, but they are reading it. Would you rather be the person who helped someone feel less alone, and provided some hope, or the person who shut them down?
I know which one I have chosen.