With the passing of so many celebrities like Kate Spade, due to mental illness, I think it's really important that we don't stop having that discussion on the importance of mental health. It seems like every time someone dies of suicide, every is sad for a couple of days, the media talks about mental health, and then it's swept under the rug until it happens again.
Mental illness isn't something that can just go away and can be cured with a "Stop thinking about it" or "Get over it" pep talk. It's because of phrases like these that people who do have a mental illness or are just going through a difficult time are too scared to reach out for help. Don't be hesitant to reach out to your friends who are showing signs that they are going through something.
Social media platforms seem to be where people like to vent. I've seen people tweet very vague but concerning things and I immediately reach out to them. Sometimes it's about nothing and sometimes it's the person trying to ask for help but not directly. If you're someone who is going through something, remember this:
You're not weak if you ask for help.
Even if the person you're reaching out to doesn't want to talk, just knowing that you reached out to them is a step. Maybe they'll come talk to you, but don't give up on them. Keep checking in.
If you're reading this and saying to yourself that you don't want to talk to someone you know, you have options. There's the Crisis Text Line, where you can talk to a trained crisis counselor anonymously through text message and they are available 24/7.
Recently, I had reached out to a good friend of mine who I hadn't talked to in a while. All I had said was "Hey! How's it going?" and it was a really brief conversation. A few weeks later when my friend and I had actually talked on the phone, she confided in me that she was going through a rough time and was in a bad space and that me texting her that simple question brought some positivity to her day. If she didn't tell me this, I would've never known that this was happening.
So, reach out to your friends. Reach out to strangers that you follow on social media. A simple comment, compliment, a hello, can turn around someone's day. This isn't going to solve all the problems in the world, but by doing this, it's a start in the right direction to have a discussion about mental health. It's a start in the right direction to make mental illnesses less of a taboo subject.