John ends his post with an important message, one that I echo for sure because his story is something I’ve heard too many times. He talks about “reaching out” to people only to be dismissed. Being told “Oh you’re strong, you’ll get through this”, or that it’s not that serious, and then the struggle to reach out to a hotline or for professional help and be met with some short term strategies, and lack of available resources, etc. is how you “support” depression without really supporting the person in front of you dealing with depression.
Just the other day I saw someone close to me talking about spending 45 minutes just trying to figure out how to set up an appointment with a therapist through the app her insurance has set up for her through her employer, before finally giving up.
This is why we need reminders like this for the people we know, and why we need to remind the entire mental health care industry of this as well.
Instead of posting an “inspirational” picture or quote to encourage people to seek help, let us be the help. Let us be available when somebody needs us to sit in the dark moments with them. Let us not pass off people in need because we are “busy” or because they are “strong.” Help them be strong. People are strong because they are not given the choice to be weak. It is literally a matter of life or death. Walk the walk instead of talk the talk.
And, help them reform a system that is too difficult to navigate at any time, but least of all when they are in crisis.
It shouldn’t be this hard.
Go read John’s whole story and consider what you can do differently on an individual level and what we need to do on a macro level as well.