by: Eric M. Kussin

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14 December 2018

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We Must Communicate About Mental Health More Inclusively

You look at the pictures of these 2 young beautiful ppl & they could pass for “Ken & Barbie.” What could be wrong? A life of opportunity ahead of them. Yet one, a red-shirt freshman college football player, one a successful meteorologist on TV, both gone in the blink of an eye, to suicide, w/in the past 2 days.

 

Posts abt this topic are not about likes or follows. They’re about reality. We must keep posting this horrific news until we as a society WAKE-UP, & as advocates better explain how this topic applies to everyone.

 

This is happening too often to ppl w the same profile: “bright, friendly, shining stars, who you never would have thought…” The headlines are all the same.

 

Traveling all over recently & presenting at these mental health events, I can tell you, when it’s mandatory to attend, the feedback from ppl forced to be there is: “wow, I didn’t realize how much this applies to me, even tho I didn’t want to come.” When it’s voluntary, we only see the folks who self-identify as the “1 in 5” w mental health complications (or the advocates). Why? Bc there’s this belief that’s been engrained in our heads through marketing efforts for years that there are 2 groups of ppl out there: the “mentally ill” & the “normal.” Couldn’t be further from reality!

 

Our mental health has a foundation. It can change slowly over time, weakening that foundation as life stresses & traumas build, & we do nothing abt it. Our “new normal” develops & we don’t even notice the incremental changes. One life event can then be like a Jenga piece that brings the whole foundation down – when the tower at a glance from afar looked tall and strong. This leads to “crashes,” suicidal ideations, & unfortunately at times, tragedy.

When are we going to wake up as the stewards of the mental health messaging that this topic is for #5in5, not #1in5 already w “mental illness”? Saying that “40+Mill ppl suffer” is not enough, when the implication is that the other 4 in 5, 200+ Mill, “do not suffer.” This is a BIG reason why we lose so many. With first-hand experience, I can tell you, ya think ur foundation is strong, & bam, that fall happens QUICKLY!

If u want to help, re-post a message like this in your posts. I/we don’t care abt “credit.” Make it ur own. If u want to share it w “#SameHere🤙” for unity, go for it. But pls get the word out beyond where it’s typically gone. There are MANY out there who tune out this message bc it’s “not for them,” who really need it!

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