How to Release the Stigma Around Mental Health and Suicide

Do you know how to release the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide in America?

You stop judging people.

You stop thinking you know more about their life than they do.

You stop thinking you have walked a mile in their shoes when you haven’t even taken one step.


It’s National Suicide Awareness Week.

That means we use this week to talk about the things that people usually don’t talk about.

That means we get the opportunity to release stigmas that our pristine world has built around topics they are too afraid to talk about.

That means we talk about mental health and suicide in America.

  • Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year.
  • There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for those ages 15-44.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

This is an excerpt from an email from TWLOHA, an organization that I hold near and dear to my heart. Thier mission is to bring awareness to depression, addiction, self-harm and suicide.

The lie is that depression and suicide are things that we can’t talk about. It’s a lie that causes people to feel alone and live alone when it comes to their pain. The truth is that, as people, we all relate to pain. We all struggle from time to time, we all experience sadness, and we all encounter huge questions in this life. All of that is part of this human experience that you and i keep waking up to. TWLOHA

And with all of that in mind, welcome to National Suicide Prevention Week. This week, people all across America are pushing back at the lie. Thousands more will join them on Thursday for World Suicide Prevention Day. Together we will say that it’s important to talk about mental health and suicide. Together we will say that it’s okay to be honest and it’s okay to ask for help. Together we will say we’re not alone. 

Here at TWLOHA, we’re asking folks to think about tomorrow. Suicide means a story ends too soon. Hope means believing that tomorrow can be different, that life is worth living, that it’s possible to change. 
Our “We’ll See You Tomorrow” campaign was born from some words I wrote at the end of National Suicide Prevention Week one year ago. I want to share those here:
Above all else, we choose to stay. We choose to fight the darkness and the sadness, to fight the questions and the lies and the myth of all that’s missing. We choose to stay, because we are stories still going. Because there is still some time for things to turn around, time for surprises and for change. We stay because no one else can play our part.
Life is worth living.
We’ll see you tomorrow.
Please remember that people need people. People don’t need your opinions, your judgements or your ideas of who and what they should be. People need people to show up, be there, and maybe even hug it out a little.

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