Why We Need To Open Up The Conversation Around Mental Health

You may have seen this statement: Have the conversation. It’s not a new concept, but there’s a fundamental need to understand what’s occurring in our world. A mental apocalypse. Detecting signs of mental health are challenging in several aspects. First, the signs aren’t easy to detect. And people who experience mental health issues mask them well. They’re the greatest actors. Also, people remain uneducated about mental health. Whether someone chooses to ignore a mental health issue for self or someone else, it’s the same. Ignorance avoids becoming educated to understand how to find resolutions.

People don’t ignore mental health issues on purpose. There are many known and unspoken reasons. Again, ignorance is one example. Many people ignore discussing mental health issues, because it’s an uncomfortable conversation. Any uncomfortable conversation stirs emotions. And, sometimes people don’t want to feel their emotions. But, we’re human, and we’re supposed to feel. We grow up in many cultures, families, or life situations, where we’re taught to suck it up. Instead of learning to express our emotions in a healthy matter, we allow emotions to stew and fester. When unexpressed emotions cause tension in our mind, the outcomes are devastating. We see the results of that tension. It’s in the form of suicide, shootings, and hate. As a society, we have lost the value in having a civil conversation about issues and respecting views.

A big challenge radiates from within the person who suffers with mental health. People with a mental health issue can be very good at disguising it. They can also be unaware of it. They too carry shame and guilt in having to admit they have a mental health condition. The stigma around mental health is fading, but not fast enough. “Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death.” People who commit suicide don’t always have a known mental health issue. Suicidal thoughts can originate from a single event to a series of life changing events. These events become triggers to other unresolved lingering emotions.

A series of depressive events can evoke feelings of the inability to cope with change. Suicide isn’t associated with mental health all the time. There are a variety of factors for people committing suicide. Here are a few: money, relationships, illness, and a host of cultural and societal pressures. The suicidal thought patterns or reasoning also vary. Over the years, the research and push for mental health support has improved. Our society continues to need resources to support this unsuspected killer. We need resources to support having the conversations.

Our world needs to inform everyone through action that it’s okay to have the conversation. Yet, any conversation should make people feel safe and respected. Furthermore, people should understand that conversations aren’t monologues and arguments. They’re dialogues of either division, decisions, or progress. If you aren’t the one with the issue, then learn to talk less without judgement and listen more. Have conversations about everything. The more we ignore, the more we contribute to obliterating a world of healthy thinking.

Resource Cited:
“CDC Newsroom.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 June 2018, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0607-suicide-prevention.html.

You can also find this article published on thoughtcatolog.com.