The word ‘suicide’ is an eye catcher. It grabs everyone’s attention. But why that word? Why not ‘I’m not feeling very good’, ‘I hate the way I look’, ‘I can’t get it out of my head’? Maybe if those words don’t draw attention or ring alarm bells, what about actions, body language, a change in behavior? Someone who used love to spend time with their friends now starts to stay in a lot. Someone who used love playing a certain sport suddenly lets their talent fizzle out. Someone who used take pride in the way they look starts to completely let themselves go. What about a person completely losing or gaining their appetite? What about someone who has dark circles under their eyes from a lack of sleep?
These are all (noticeable) symptoms of mental health issues. The sad thing is, these symptoms can go unnoticed. The final and FATAL symptom is suicide. This is when people finally realize what was going on. This is what catches people’s attention. But that’s when it’s too late.
Within the last two months in Cork alone the amount of young people that have taken their own lives reached double digits. All of those young people felt like they had no other way out, no choice and no one to help them. If only they had known how many people love them and care about them, how many people would have tried to help them escape what they were going through. The problem is not with the people, or their friends or family. The problem is that we are all uneducated when it comes to mental health.
None of us are educated about this ‘topic’ unless we choose to go down a certain career path in college. This kind of education should have been drilled into us from a young age. Instead, we were thought about what happened decades ago and how to find X, completely turning a blind eye to what is real and what is happening right now. Yes we are starting to learn things now, but it’s always after someone drastic and heartbreaking happens. It should have been the other way around, which would have prevented so many families living with heavy hearts.
If we all learnt about mental health, it would make it so much easier to spot signs of depression/anxiety etc. It would help us know how to approach our loved one who are suffering.

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