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July 14, 2021

This is not a Drill: our Mental Health Crisis is a Silent Killer.

 

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Every 40 seconds, somebody decides to end their life (World Health Organization, 2021).

That is 700,000 people per year—700,000 people who feel that ending their life would be easier than being alive on our planet.

We have a crisis bigger than the coronavirus. A crisis that needs immediate attention.

Our children are growing up in a world where footballers get abused racially every day, where those who are minorities suffer the most horrific abuse, and where being a woman in a man’s world can cost us our lives. Social media is how we connect, how we catch up with friends—and how we send death threats to strangers.

A comment on a post may seem like a drop in the ocean, but what about when it’s hundreds of abusive messages about how somebody’s death would benefit the world?

This is not a drill. Suicide does not discriminate. This is an emergency.

What if one of those 700,000 people is your brother who hangs himself because somebody thought it would be funny to tell everyone he was gay and humiliate him? Your mother because the system failed her? Your uncle, even though “he had everything to be happy for?” Your sister because she was just a “slut?” Your daughter because she “let everyone down?” Your son because “he wanted to dress like the girls?” Your friend because “life had been getting harder to cope with?”

Suicide affects, rich, poor, black, white, Asian, happy, sad, successful, family men and women, hard workers, happy children, homeless, gay, straight, transgender—I could go on forever because the list is endless. Not one of us can be sure we will never become a number in a statistic, so let’s start taking this seriously,

We feel alone, so lost and isolated. We’ve gone through a global pandemic, which was the mental straw that broke the camel’s back. We are struggling. All of us. So many of us wake up feeling hopeless; we have experienced never-ending grief, overflowing sadness, and gut-wrenching pain. We are generations of trauma, bodies with aching souls, wandering around trying to get by each day.

I feel sad, angry, hopeless, scared, and worst of all, helpless.

We need to pull together, hold one another, share our fears, our pain, our shame.

We are petrified of vulnerability and are covering our beautiful selves with alcohol, drugs, sex, and anything else that numbs the loneliness. We are starved for connection, absolutely parched for love, and constantly yearning for deep understanding and healing.

We are scared adults who have abandoned ourselves repeatedly throughout our lives, just enough so we cannot find a path back to our authentic nature.

No baby is born feeling suicidal. The world makes the baby grow into a person who believes ending their story is the only possible ending. It is not. Our environment is the problem, our attitude is toxic, and we are not doing enough.

Isn’t it ironic how we now share more of our lives than ever before via social media posts, stories, and videos, yet, we don’t share anything real? We never take to Instagram to let our followers know that we feel like our world is collapsing or that we feel like we are losing our minds. Never. I will post a picture of my avocado on toast, my morning workout, and my Friday night outfit because “I’m fine.” My friends will believe “I’m living my best life” because my makeup is perfect, my waistline is skinny, and my social circle is always expanding.

We are not connecting via social media, we are segregating, isolating, and abandoning our true nature, which is compassionate, caring, and kind.

I don’t like my generation—it’s a generation of people that have lost touch with what is important.

I apologise for the angry tone of this article, but suicide makes me angry. Not one person on this planet should ever feel like the world they live in would be better off without them.

I hope for a future where we are kinder, more understanding, and more able to deal with the complexities of being human so that fewer people feel the answer is to end their precious lives. I am sorry. Our world has failed you.

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