As we near the end of May, I'd like to note how special the month of May is for the mental health community. In May, we make a point of talking about mental health even more openly in order to gain momentum to break the stigma. Even as this topic has become less taboo over the years, there certainly is still a negative connotation when we hear others talk about their pain. The reality though is that we all have pain. Research has shown that 1 in 5 of us in the U.S experience a serious mental illness every. single. year. So why is it that pain is so difficult to talk about? Especially when some pain is so deep that it leads to suicidal thoughts and actions.
I saw a recent news article about a high school in the Cincinnati area. In the last week, this high school has had 2 students take their own lives.
Let the gravity of this sink in for a moment.
The stigma of mental illness is still strong today, despite the fight going on for decades.
How heartbreaking it is to realize that there are people in this world who are hurting and believe they have nowhere to turn - that help is unattainable. Maybe its your neighbor down the street. Or a classmate you sit next to every day in chemistry. Perhaps you are feeling alone in your own struggle...whatever it may be. I could go on and on about the dirty details that come from mental illness in hopes that others might understand a bit more that it is very real and very much an issue in the world we live in...but really I have only one goal from writing these words today.
I want YOU to know that you are not alone. Whatever it is you are going through right now, you have the strength to make it through. However you came to stumble across this post - it was meant for YOU. If you have even half of a desire to reach out and talk, please do. There are professionals and volunteers who are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You are not alone and your story is not over.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-(800) 273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
Cincinnati Crisis Care Center: (513) 281-2273