Suicide Awareness Day, 2012.
Great – another awareness day. Every day, every week, every month – we have to be celebrating or being aware of something. It’s exhausting. We have lives to live, people to meet, undone homework to read. Which causes should we focus on, or should we just ignore them all – let other people do the caring.
The problem with the mentality of letting other people do the caring is that people don’t realize the power they have on other people. Just by talking about something – you’ve already seeded them with that one idea. (Yes, I’m using the movie Inception to convey my point.) And if you’ve just told one person – you’ve already done something more powerful than doing nothing.
Some important causes that could be improved simply by making a fuss about it. So here I am, asking for a fuss, demanding that this cause be talked about. Even if its in passing, on the bus, while you get coffee.
The 5 in 1 campaign by UBC’s Mental Health Awareness Club says that 1 in every five people will suffer from a mental illness. Fact is, if you’re reading this, you’re part of some community. You’re possibly part of many communities – no matter how big or small they may be. You have to be, if you’re a person who can communicate with other people – you’re already part of the community of the world. It’s a default state of being. So how many people do you know? How many people do you care about? How many people can you influence – by implanting an idea, or changing their perspective?
The point of this day is to openly communicate about being aware of suicide, of it being the most devastating symptom of mental health. The point of this day, to me personally, is to communicate and alleviate the stigma of mental health. You don’t get the same reaction If one dies from a heart attack and if one dies from a mental illness. This shouldn’t be the case. So – think about the stigma.
Ask people how they’re doing, ask if they’re okay. You don’t really know what a person is ever feeling. This is what the main point of this day is about – communicate that your community cares, that help is available.
But also think about spreading the word and sharing causes you care about.
But really, no matter what – think.