Hope - Hold On, Pain Ends.
I have been home sick the past few days so have been indulging in A LOT of mindless day time tv, which of course means me seeing regular news updates. I am not normal a news watcher - it frigs with my anxiety too much. Serious.
Like I will see there is a gastro outbreak & I start running around thinking I'm sick, or using 12 tins of glen 20 disinfecting EVERYTHING in my wake.
Bear on the loose in America? Shit, what if the crocodiles at Hartley's Crocodile farm break loose? could they make it to my house?
And so on.... so yeah. I chose not to watch the news. This shit will keep me awake for hours at night.
So anyway, yes, saw the news yesterday with another celebrity suicide. Then of course it is all over social media etc & this got me thinking : Why is Mental Health & Suicide Prevention usually only brought to the headlines when it affect someone famous? Why is it then ok to talk about?
- Did you know that suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44?
- There are eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day. EACH DAY!!!
- There are approximately 65,300 suicide attempts each year.
Now I think it is safe to say here that there are a lot of amazing human beings in our country that are advocates for suicide prevention & mental health warriors - you cannot put a price on how valuable these people are to our society.
But we should ALL BE TALKING ABOUT IT!!!
In someway or another we have all been affected by suicide, whether it is in our family or friends, or colleagues or friends of friends & so on.... and mental health issues? Well, I think that every person at some stage has also been touched by it in some way or another.
I speak very openly about my anxiety & some of my darkest days, in order to maybe help one person think "wow, maybe it is ok to talk about it"
because people - this is the only way we can end this stigma!
Mental health is SO SO IMPORTANT & cannot be shoved under a rug. By talking about your own struggles or prompting a conversation with someone who is struggling, you could help lessen those suicide statistics.
One thing that annoys me most about the mental health & suicide discussion is when people say "but he/she was so loved" "they seem so happy though!" "they had no financial worries, so why?" "why didn't they ask for help"
"They should've just relaxed"
Well, bubble baths & sleep & self help books don't help people in that state. Society needs to stop & pay attention.
Because it is a BRAIN DISEASE people!!! Just like diabetes affects your blood sugars, and asthma affects your lungs & breathing - depression, anxiety, bipolar & other mental health problems are a disease that affect your brain. You cannot think straight. It affects your ability to make decisions & risk asses & in extreme cases, will convince you that you have no other option than suicide.
We need to start being kinder to each other. Check on your neighbour. Stop & ask someone how they really are. And most importantly we need to start to LISTEN!
There is no shame asking for help - we have to change that stigma.
The hardest part of my recovery was dealing with guilt - I could not control how sad or anxious I was but that part of my brain kept telling me I didn't deserve to be sad - I had beautiful kids, a kind, supportive & loving husband, amazing family & friends. Who did I think I was not getting out of bed everyday?!?!?
So, lets start today. I want you to show someone some kinds & love every single day - be kinder, be aware, listen, ask "are you ok?"
Lets start talking about it openly & bring these statistics down.
Because as Emily McDowell posted this morning "The world is a better place with you in it".
If you or someone you love needs help please
contact lifeline - 13 11 14
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
*statistics from https://www.lifeline.org.au
Other people & organisations who can help:
Headspace - https://www.eheadspace.org.au - 1800 650 890
Online and telephone counselling for 12-25yr olds
Kids Helpline - https://kidshelpline.com.au - 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue - https://www.beyondblue.org.au - 1300 22 4636
Operation Life Online - http://at-ease.dva.gov.au/suicideprevention/
Suicide awareness for veterans, ex-serving personnel & their families