WSPD; Please Stay

We have this weird thing in our culture where we believe in treating our bodies and nourishing our faith (whatever it may be) but when it comes taking care of our minds, when it comes to our emotional health, when it comes to asking for mental help we pause because we know that stigma is still out there.
That stupid, asinine, archaic stigma that resides in society that says people who suffer from mental illness are weak. The stigma makes others think that those suffering are faking it, they can just 'get over it', or they can just brush themselves off and keep going.
Welp. That's bullshit.
We have lost people to suicide who thought they had no other option in this world. We have broken friends and family walking around in soul crushing hazes of grief not knowing how to go on and wondering what they could have done. We have people in our lives right now who are considering if their lives are worth living. We have, ourselves, debated our own worth, found ourselves lacking and tried to end the constant barrage of negativity that plays on an endless loop in our brain. 
I promise you, even if you think you don't know someone who's contemplated suicide, you do.


There's so much to be done.
Breaking down stigmas, reteaching ourselves it's okay to ask for help, learning how to recognize those in crisis, and convincing ourselves of the truth that we were given this life because we were meant to live it.
So, what do we do?
We love.
We love and we walk this journey called life.
We recognize that any 'threat ' of suicide is to be taken seriously.
We tell those we love, we love them.
We advocate for our family and friends who suffer.
We break down invisible walls that make it difficult to talk about what's going on in our heads.
We speak up and reach out if we are worried for someone.
We respond quickly understanding that suicide can happen to ANYONE at ANYTIME.
Sounds nice... but how do we actually do this stuff Jenn? Glad you asked.

There are classes (check with your local health department or go online) you can take to help familiarize yourself with the warning signs of suicide and that teach you how to respond. There are short ones (QPR was only a couple hours) and there are longer more intense classes.

You can be aware and spread the Suicide Hotline number-800.273.TALK.

You can check with your children's schools to see if their health classes educate students on mental health.

You can open conversations with friends and family about suicide.

You can talk to your health provider - any of them- and let them know if you are having self harm or suicidal thoughts and they will get you the help you need.
We understand, that we cannot save everyone. As much as we want to, as much as we try, as much as it rips open our hearts and souls, we can't.
But, we still try.
We try because pain that has festered too long is slowly turning to anger. A healthy anger that allows us to say, firmly and rightfully so:
We must pay attention to our mental health. We must treat mental illnesses. We must take a closer look at our mental health system in our society. We must accept that chemcial imbalances are just that - imbalances-and need to be corrected not ignored. We must accept that if our bodies go to physical and occupational therapy there is no reason to deny them counseling or psychological therapy. We must be transparent with our needs, concerns and questions.
We must start and keep an open dialogue open on mental illness in our society.
This is the time for life.

These are thoughts I have posted over the years through my social media. I gathered them up and put them in one spot in today's blog post. Remember, you matter. Thank you for being here, please stay. 

Comments

  1. I have the hardest time coming to terms with the fact that our society considers treating any illness as just common sense, but chemical imbalances of the brain are somehow to be ignored, or denied, stigmatized.
    When suicide hit my family just a few years ago I was shocked. I had a hard time finding a place to put the feelings. I still deal with the one I'm guessing is most common among those of us left behind to mourn, guilt. Could I have seen something? Should I have known something? Could this have ended another way?

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