I heard on the radio yesterday (therefore unable to cite) that in the month following the release of 13 Reasons Why, Google searches containing “suicide” rose by 19%. The good news is that these include “suicide prevention” and “suicide hotlines”; the bad news is that those were not the majority of terms searched. The glamorization of suicide as an escape route is heart breaking. It is literally impossible for a suicidal person to comprehend, yet it is 100% true that your family will not be “better off” or “relieved. They WILL care and it WILL wreck them. Suicide does not end your pain, it magnifies and transfers it to everyone in your life.
Another statistic I keep coming back to is that 1 In 5 adults meet criteria for a mental health condition. In my opinion, this means that mental illness (Depression, anxiety, ADHD…you name it) affects everyone by default. If you have ever loved someone with mental illness, you know that it doesn’t just affect them…it has a ripple effect on the whole family.
So why in the world is our systematic world ignoring this? It has been my experience that most primary care physicians don’t screen for this (although they certainly ask me if I smoke or wear my seatbelt), schools aren’t teaching mental wellbeing courses (although they offer personal finance and physical education) and I don’t see television commercials promoting mental health (although I see plenty of antidepressant commercials).
So what can you do? TALK ABOUT IT!!! Support your own and your loved ones’ mental health by openly promoting and discussing mental health. Follow hashtags like #mentalhealthmatters #depression #mentalillness #wellbring #dbtskills etc and share their content! Be a beacon of light in a dark world.