A Serious Discussion on a Serious Topic
So, I’m bumming around tonight, just chilling after a day of running errands. I turned on the MTV movie awards just in time to see Best Male Performance. Bradley Cooper won for his role in The Silver Lining’s Playbook. I hear it’s a great movie. I haven’t seen it yet. I haven’t read the book either, but it’s next in line for me to read on my eReader. Anyway, even though I haven’t seen it, nor have I read it, I’ve heard what it’s about and I understand quite a bit of the story line has to do with mental health. In Bradley Cooper’s acceptance speech, he mentioned mental health and more specifically, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). One thing that caught my attention (and this wasn’t the first time I heard it) was that more service members have died because of suicide than in combat this past year. To me, that’s absolutely insane and unfathomable. But, according to many articles such as this conversation from PBS “More U.S. Troops Died by Suicide Than in Afghanistan Combat in 2012” and NBC News’ “The enemy within: Soldier suicides outpaced combat deaths in 2012,” it’s true. I think mental health is an issue that needs to be on the discussion table.
This has been something I’ve been thinking about for several months. From my own experiences and conversations with friends and family, I feel that mental health issues have a stigma. I feel that it’s often times frowned. I think people also feel that they will be judged or seen as weak if they admit to having a mental health problem.
We need to put mental health on the table. It needs to be discussed openly and without judgement. We need to be accepting and help others. We need to be aware. We need to bring the suicide rate down. Our troops deserve our support whether they are currently serving or retired. We need to develop programs, make sure there is funding for current programs, lend a helping hand. We cannot allow the number of troop suicides to continue to rise. We cannot allow the number of suicides in general to rise.
It’s time to speak up. It’s time to reach out. It’s time to listen. It’s time to love.
Educate yourself. Learn the signs. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.
If you are in need of help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Don’t wait.