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  • Writer's pictureKristen Miller

why aren't we talking about this?

A woman approached me yesterday and wanted to purchase one of the bracelets that said "not alone" on one side, and the suicide hotline (1.800.273.8255) on the other side. In conversation, she told me that she worked with veterans at the VA in Mather, and said many of the veterans that have come back from their service have been suicidal.

I again felt inspired to stamp more bracelets with the suicide hotline on them, and then discovered that there is a song out there by Logic, Alessia Cara & Khalid titled, "1-800-273-8255." (Yes I realize this song came out awhile ago - I knew the song, just didn't know the title. :) ) I digress. Even celebrities see the importance of this, so much so that they created a song with the suicide hotline as the title. So why, WHY are we having such a difficult time as a society talking about this and acknowledging that kids struggle, depression is real, and there IS help out there?

I have no problem putting out there for the world to know that I have suffered with depression & anxiety as well at various times in my life. But when I was younger, it would have KILLED me to put that out there, specifically for the same reason that most kids don't want to acknowledge that they are hurting and need help: there is a stigma there. If you are someone who suffers from depression, anxiety, mental health issues in general, society views you as "crazy."

I am so sick of this sentiment - it hurts me deeply to know that there are kids, parents, members of society out there that are so closed-minded and arrogant that they couldn't possibly see that mental illness is simply this: brains that were developed and mapped out in a way that was different than what nature intended.

There are SO MANY other circumstances in life and biology and genetics that are right in line with this sentiment, but with no stigma attached... A few examples... diabetes, asthma, cancer. Nature intended for all of us to be born with a working, efficient pancreas - but with the human body system being SO complex and intricate, it's not uncommon for various wires, signals, etc., to get crossed and cause a malfunction in some way - hence people with diabetes have a pancreas that doesn't function as nature intended; people with allergies have been overly exposed to various environmental factors and/or foods, and their bodies react in a way that wasn't as nature intended; people with cancer have various body parts that haven't operated at top efficiency as nature intended, and thus endure a life of suffering.

And yet none of these ailments have a stigma attached. So WHY can't we accept that mental illness is another example of certain body parts (the brain in this case) not developing and/or being mapped out in the way nature intended? Why should there be a stigma attached with that? The result of us continuing to avoid talking about this in a more open, caring, compassionate way, is that kids continue to suffer in silence and loneliness, and more lives are taken unnecessarily.

I would love to know your thoughts...

Let's start this conversation now...

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