Opening the door to continue the conversations about mental health.
Every human has a breaking point; after all, we’re all made of the same stuff. And yet it remains an individual test as to how much pressure must be applied before we bend and eventually break. At least in recent years, discussions of mental health and mental health advocacy are far less taboo which is important, considering the average suicide rate in the United States is increasing.
The more we talk about it, the less people like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain will slip through the cracks. There are cracks sprouting up in the pavement all over – the world, the country – and while weeds may grow from those cracks, they don’t grow without water. In a sense, the water would be broader conversations about mental health, advocacy, and what we are or aren’t doing in order to increase our understanding.
One in four adults in the entire world will be affected by or experience a mental illness or disorder throughout the course of their lives. In a given year, 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience a mental illness. Assume the average adult works with a team – likely, they interact with more than five people in one day. That means that of those five people, one of them is likely to experience a mental illness which is to say that daily we are offered chances to be more supportive and kinder to one another.
Tragedy has become hauntingly familiar for many Americans – suicide is a silent killer. For many adults who experience a mental illness, the reality and the risk of suicide is all too real. 18.1% of American adults experience an anxiety disorder. 6.9% of American adults have experienced a major depressive disorder in the last year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the 2nd leading cause of death for the demographic of people aged between 15-24.
The media covers tragedy like trending news, regardless of whether it’s properly depicted or not. It seems like suicide has become a hot topic, obviously because of the recent tragedies of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, but we need to talk about it and mental health more often. If those doors had been opened when Kate Spade needed help, would the outcome be different? Of course, speculation isn’t going to change anything, but it can open up the conversation.
Recently, there’s been a surge of mental health documentaries, TV shows, and movies that focus on some of these issues. The fascinating thing about this is that regardless of whether the documentaries are showcasing the mental health issues in a positive or negative light, they’re still helping open the door a little wider to continue the conversation about mental health, and eliminate the way silence kills.
The stigma begins to go away the more we become used to something – which is why it’s incredibly important to keep talking about it. Continue the conversation. Reach out. The more we know about mental health and associated issues, the more we understand and the more we can support one another.
After all, we are all human.