You won’t hurt my feelings. Promise.
But if you do skip it please refer back to my previous CoA post on mental health.
September is Suicide Prevention Month, but what if you’re too late?
TW: suicide mentioned
My brother’s friend’s dad took his life a couple days ago. Apparently he was very depressed. He sought help for it online, but instead of going to an official site dedicated towards mental health, he went to Reddit and fell victim to a scam. That scammer took advantage of somebody feeling unimaginably vulnerable, who had found the courage to seek help, and the scam ultimately destroyed that vulnerable person’s reasoning towards living.
My sorrow about this story doesn’t stem from the villainy of the scammer (since there always have been those who prey on the vulnerable), but rather that Reddit was the mental health resource of choice in this case. This is why *local* mental health resources need to be advocated and advertised and suicide needs to be destigmatize.
If you live in the US you need to go to nami.org right now. Like, right now, right now. Know what resources are in your area.
My local NAMI has FREE classes about mental illness and a list of both faith-based and non-faith support groups for “peers” and family.
My local police has a crisis unit specifically for mental health crisis calls.
Know what’s available in your area.
After checking where your local NAMI is check out suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more resources specifically about suicide.
The tragedy is that I knew about my local resources, but I didn’t know the person who needed them. I’ve met my brother’s friend maybe twice for like five minutes so I never met his dad. I have information about mental health services and I know who in the local PD (my digital forensics teacher actually) he could have contacted about the scam, but I’ve never met him so I couldn’t help him.
How do you bring up mental health when it’s a topic polite society wants so push under the rug? Well, I guess bring it up anyway. There’s still five whole days left of September. Make that awkward conversation happen. Be the one to make a difference for someone you don’t know yet.