Things We Don't Say is a series focused on exploring the complex facets of mental health and the obstacles to effective suicide prevention. This week, we address openly talking about our mental health.
Whenever HFTD does live show outreach, there is a chance we will see someone pass our tent or table multiple times before they finally approach us. We understand that it can be intimidating to speak up about personal experiences. We grow up with little to no education on how to address our mental health, and these conversations don't get easier as we age, because dialogue is often hindered by stigma.
Stigmas are the social and cultural factors that try to dictate how we express ourselves. Stigma is visible in the Things We Don't Say about how we feel.
Prevention starts with a conversation that is currently silenced by stigma. A silence that claims almost 44,000 lives every year in America. That’s 121 deaths each day. Globally, 800,000 die by suicide each year. Suicide completions are at a thirty-year high. Suicide has no prejudice and impacts every geographic, ethnic, and sociological demographic on the planet.
Being proactive on suicide prevention means no longer waiting to start a conversation. The proactive movement strives to build communities that address mental health before someone reaches a point of crisis.
We can reduce suicide rates and it starts with a conversation Hope For The Day is pressing within communities. There are tools and treatments to address mental health challenges and improve our quality of life.
Proactive prevention begins with raising the visibility of resources, and educating ourselves on mental health - letting those in pain know they are not alone, that they don’t have to feel ashamed, that it takes courage to talk about our challenges. Change happens when we as a community understand that It's Ok To Not Be Ok.