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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – 1 In 5 #Queer Young Adults Attempted #Suicide In The Past Year, Study Shows

Experts say mental health issues aren’t widespread in the LGBTQ community because of identity or orientation ― it’s because of discrimination.

#Mentalhealth should be taken seriously no matter what, but a new study shows it’s an especially pressing issue in the #queer community.

 

The Trevor Project, a #suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for #LGBTQ youth, released a report Tuesday on the mental health of queer young adults.

The results are pretty horrifying: Nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ people ages 13 to 24, and 1 in 3 #transgender and nonbinary young people in the same age group, attempted #suicide in the past 12 months. Approximately 39% of #LGBTQ youth surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the past year.

 

The report also detailed some of the societal challenges many queer individuals endure. Two-thirds of #LGTBQ youth reported that someone had attempted to convince them to “change” their sexual orientation or gender identity. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they’d experienced discrimination because of their orientation or identity.

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   #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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These stigmatizing attitudes are exactly why #mentalhealth issues persist in such high numbers among #queer young adults, according to Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project.

 

“It’s important to note that #LGBTQ youth are not at higher risk of #suicide because of their #sexualorientation or gender identity,” Paley said in a statement. “They are at a higher risk because they face harmful rejection and discrimination from friends, families, and communities that can make them feel their lives are worth less than their straight or cisgender peers.”

 

“That is why it is so important that we work tirelessly to let #LGBTQ youth know that they are beautiful as they are, that they are deserving of respect, and that they are not alone,” Paley continued.

 

The Trevor Project survey is the largest ever conducted on the #mentalhealth of #LGBTQ youth, according to the organization. It included nearly 35,000 respondents from every state in the country.

“Better understanding the #mentalhealth experiences of #LGBTQ young people is a major step in addressing their significantly higher risk for attempting #suicide.”

– AMIT PALEY, CEO AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE TREVOR PROJECT

Experts hope that the results become a wake-up call for #mentalhealthprofessionals and loved ones of #queer individuals.

 

“#Suicide is an ongoing public health crisis for young people in the U.S., especially among #LGBTQ youth,” Paley said. “Better understanding the #mentalhealth experiences of #LGBTQ young people is a major step in addressing their significantly higher risk for attempting #suicide.”

 

Another way to improve #mentalhealth is to make support more accessible and encouraged. Approximately 76% of respondents in the survey said they would be somewhat or extremely likely to reach out for professional help via text or chat during a crisis.

 

Researchers stressed that the results also highlight a dire need for education and training across the country to schools and support networks can best help #LGBTQ individuals who experience discrimination or thoughts of self-harm and #suicide.

 

Bottom line: We all need to do better when it comes to supporting the #mentalhealth of #queer people. There’s no other option.

 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Trained crisis counselors are available through the Trevor Project 24 hours a day by calling 1-866-488-7386 or visiting TheTrevorProject.org/Help. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Why Some Doctors Argue Now’s the Time to Talk #MentalHealth with Dad

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Taking care of Dad goes far beyond the physical factors. Doctor Kenneth Perry at Trident Medical says #mentalhealthawareness is important to fighting the #stigma behind it.

“But people still feel concerned in bringing up the fact that maybe they’re not as happy as they used to be,” Perry said. “Maybe they’re just not finding joy in the things that they used to find joy in.”

#MentalHealthAmerica reports more than 6-million men to suffer from #depression each year.

“Older males who have either been widowed or are alone for some reason, they have a really high risk of #mentalhealth and #suicide,” said Perry.

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 #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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The site reports more than four times as many men die by #suicide than #women in America. But #mentalhealth doesn’t only affect older men.

“It’s across the entire spectrum,” Perry said. “So no matter what age dad is, it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping engaged, and if there is something, bring it up. Don’t worry about talking about it.”

Doctor Perry says people sometimes resort to exercise as a means of overcoming #mentalhealth issues, thinking a job around the block can help them get back on track.

“#Mentalhealth is not something that you can fix just with exercise,” Perry said. “It sometimes takes counseling. It sometimes takes medication. And sometimes, it’s really intensive counseling.”

Perry said it’s important to know that #mentalhealth is a real disease that needs a lot of intervention.

“Sometimes you need to switch it up,” Perry said. “But make sure you’re talking to your family and realize that sometimes we all have to make a change.”

You should also consult with your doctor.

And know that it’s okay to not be okay.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – New Survey Gives Snapshot of #LGBTQ #MentalHealth, #Suicide Risk

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The Trevor Project’s first National Survey on #LGBTQ Youth #MentalHealth was released this week — and its results are disturbing.

Among the more dramatic results are numbers on #suicidalideation and #suicide attempts among #LGBTQ youth.

Thirty-nine percent of #LGBTQ young people surveyed seriously considered #suicide in the year leading up to the survey. That number was 54 percent among #transgender and non-binary youth in the survey.

Nearly one in five #LGBTQ youth actually made a #suicide attempt over the same period — and one in three transgender or nonbinary youth made an attempt.

Add so-called “conversion therapy” designed to “cure” young people of being #LGBTQ and the numbers get even higher.

Among #LGBTQ youth in the survey who had been through conversion therapy, #suicide attempts were at 42 percent. For #transgender and nonbinary youth who had experienced it, the number was 57 percent.

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   #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

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This month Colorado became the 18th U.S. state to outlaw conversion therapy, part of a wave of such laws sweeping the nation.

In North Carolina, the Mental Health Protection Act, was filed in March. It would outlaw conversion therapy, part of a rapidly growing national movement.  Despite polls showing overwhelming bipartisan support for the ban, it faced stiff opposition from religious groups and conservative Republicans and did not receive a hearing in this legislative session. No such bill has yet been passed in any state in the Southeast.

“The data provides a sobering look at how far we still have to go to protect #LGBTQ young lives,” wrote Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project, in a statement accompanying the survey results. “But the survey also reveals the resilience and diversity of #LGBTQ youth and provides guidance on what can be done to enable them to survive and thrive.”

Get the full report (and info on methodology) here.

 

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – 39% of America’s #LGBTQ Youth Considered #Suicide in the Past Year: Brainstorm Health

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June is #LGBTQ Pride month, a memorial to the Stonewall riots of 1969 and celebration of Americans all across the sexual and gender identity spectrum. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the significant societal discrepancies still faced by these marginalized groups despite progress over the past decade.

massive new survey by the Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing #suicide and boosting #mentalhealth among #LGBTQ youth, shines a light on just how far we have to go. The survey reached out to more than 30,000 young #LGBTQ Americans via social media targeting in what the group tells Fortune is a first-of-its-kind study. And the results are sobering.

“What stuck out to me was that we found 39% of respondents said they’d seriously considered #suicide in the past year,” said Amy Green, research director at the Trevor Project, in an interview with Fortune.

Green also points to a number of other concerning statistics in the study—including a number of metrics that had never been measured on such a wide scale to date. For instance, about 67% of respondents said that someone had tried to coerce them into changing their sexual orientation, whether voluntarily or through highly controversial (and in some states, illegal) conversion therapy. Among the relatively small group urged to go through conversion therapy, the rate of #suicide attempts was double compared to those who hadn’t undergone it.

“There are many resources out there for struggling #LGBTQ youth, including hotlines for people in crisis and the services provided by groups like the Trevor Project,” says Green. But ultimately, she adds, a larger number of visible allies and local actions—such as schools adopting anti-bullying policies, making clear that #LGBTQ youth are protected, and parents who speak up in support of their children—could be the key to reversing these tragic #mentalhealth trends.

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   #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Letter to the Editor: Prioritize #SuicidePrevention

depressionand what to say

Every 28 seconds someone attempts suicide

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 #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.#http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

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I have had personal experiences with suicide loss. While in my 20s in the early 1980s, I lost a cousin and three of my childhood friends to suicide. Then, in 2014, my daughter lost a dear friend to suicide. In addition to my experiences with suicide loss, I have worked in and volunteered in the addiction and recovery and mental health fields for over 20 years, working with individuals and families struggling with addiction and mental health concerns.

That is why I and many others will travel to Washington, D.C., to meet members of Congress for the third year in a row and demand they make #mentalhealthandsuicideprevention a top legislative priority.

I will ask Texas Senators and Representatives to 1) increase funding for #suicideprevention research within The #NationalInstitutionofMentalHealth to a level commensurate with the suicide crisis in our country 2) strengthen reporting requirements for #mentalhealth parity, ensuring that #mentalhealth is considered equal to physical health 3) fully fund the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline and 4) maintain active military Service Member & Veteran #suicideprevention as a national priority.

One thing is certain. At some point in life, each of us will realize that no one is immune to #mentalillness, addiction, #suicide or #suicide loss. Everyone agrees that more can be done. And that is so encouraging to me because this topic to too important to go unaddressed.

Ann Marie Casiraghi

Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities

Texas Tech University

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #Gay #Suicides Are On The Rise. This Epidemiologist Explains Why

Scientist Travis Salway discovered that suicide had surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death for gay and bisexual men in #Canada.

One of the indescribable aspects of being a member of a minority group is knowing that things are better than they have ever been and, simultaneously, not good enough.

The #LGBTQ community has won the right to same-sex marriage and achieved unprecedented visibility in politics, media, and entertainment. Yet we still lag far behind the straight and cis population when it comes to #mentalhealth, substance abuse, and HIV rates.

 

Travis Salway is an epidemiologist trying to close this gap. In 2014, he discovered that in Canada, #suicide had surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death among gay and bisexual men. More recently, he’s been advocating to outlaw conversion therapy and offer mental health screenings at clinics that diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases.

 

HuffPost talked to Salway about these persistent challenges and the fight for health equity.

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How did you find out that more gay and bisexual men were dying of suicide than of causes related to HIV?

 

I had been working in HIV prevention for years, motivated by the fact that new HIV infections weren’t coming down among gay men. One of the theories we were exploring was that social isolation, depression, drug addiction, and other social factors were leading to sexual behavior associated with HIV transmission. These same factors, of course, can also lead someone to suicide.

 

I pulled the suicide statistics among gay and bisexual men and was really shocked at how high they were. Though HIV mortality rates had been declining for years, #suicide rates remained stable or even increased. So we think that the mortality lines have crossed for gay and bisexual men, with suicide likely having surpassed #HIV as a leading cause of death.

 

Why do suicide rates remain so high among the LGBTQ population?

 

The predominant theory is called “minority stress.” The idea is that sexual minorities accumulate stressors in multiple forms. That includes overt things like beatings and name-calling, but also quieter things like avoiding a family gathering because you don’t want to have an awkward conversation with your uncle. Even if no one ever says it, you get the message that you’re wrong.

 

Minority stress continues even after you’ve left the closet. All of us, all the time, have to decide when to come out. Even if you’re in a big city, Castro-style environment where everyone is all “yay gay,” there’s still cognitive stress every time you make that decision.

 

A look at the disparities in suicide rates between straight and LGBT populations. This data is based on a Canadian survey, so

A look at the disparities in suicide rates between straight and LGBT populations. This data is based on a Canadian survey, so the rates may differ slightly for the United States.

 

Over time, minority stress leads to problems like rumination — thinking negative thoughts over and over again. It can lead to a sense of #hopelessness. Some people cope by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Some withdraw in social situations and use substances to connect.

 

And we’re now learning that sexual minorities have structural risks that go beyond spending their adolescence in the closet. Marriage, children, access to jobs and support networks are all different for sexual minorities in ways that are relevant for suicide. People who have steady partners, for example, are generally less likely to kill themselves. #Gay and #bisexual men are less likely to be in long-term relationships and tend to start dating much later in life. That may be another risk factor in #suicide.

It seems like an important conclusion from your work is that the “It gets better” narrative is much more complicated than the slogan suggests. It’s not a straight line of progress, it’s this cluster of overlapping challenges, some of which are getting better and some of which are getting worse.  

Exactly. There’s this new research showing that queer adolescents are coming out earlier. That sounds great, right? But they’re not actually doing all that much better in schools. They’re still feeling isolated. There are these initiatives in schools, like gay-straight alliances now. For the kids who can benefit from them, that’s great. But a lot of kids have too much-internalized homophobia or are too afraid of bullying, to ever participate in a group like that. So many of my interview subjects who attempted #suicide have told me they’ve walked right up to the door of support groups and turned around. Those are the people at the highest risk of #suicide, and they’re the hardest to reach with the service model we have now.

One of your current projects is advocating for the inclusion of mental health care in STD clinics. Why is it important to deal with the crisis that way?

 

One of the great achievements of the gay community in the last four decades is the creation of this incredibly sophisticated infrastructure for testing and treating and preventing #HIV. We don’t have anything like that for #mentalhealth and #suicide. We need to adapt that infrastructure to the crisis we face now. #STD clinics are places where we can catch people before they fall through the cracks.

 

Because of minority stress, we know that queer people will delay or avoid #mentalhealth care if it’s not available to them. They might go to the doctor’s office for a sprained ankle, but they won’t say anything about their #depression or drug use for fear of being found out. And that’s assuming they’re going to the doctor regularly and that they have a doctor to go to at all, neither of which is a given.

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 #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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The reason #STD clinics work so much better for #mentalhealth is that they’re low-barrier. You don’t show your ID, you don’t give your name and they’re free even if you’re coming from out of the state or out of the country. This means patients are much more likely to reveal their #mentalhealth concerns than at other clinics, or even to their #family or friends.

"Forming a family is one of the most powerful protections against suicide for straight people. Queer people are less able to

“Forming a family is one of the most powerful protection against suicide for straight people. Queer people are less able to do that,” Salway says.

Where should the LGBTQ community focus resources when it comes to public health?

The next wave of gay rights needs to be about building meaningful, lasting social supports that withstand the three major threats we face.

 

The first threat is the loss of the “gayborhood.” Many of the traditional gathering spots have already moved online. But, more importantly, the cities with the greatest concentrations of gay people are becoming unaffordable. Young gay people are being forced to move way out into the suburbs or to smaller cities where there are fewer services. We need to learn how to reach those populations.

 

The second threat is aging. Forming a family is one of the most powerful protections against #suicide for straight people. Queer people are less able to do that. Loneliness and social isolation are huge problems in our community, and they seem to get worse as we age.

 

The third threat is stratification within our own population. What does it mean to offer services to a community that contains hedge fund managers and homeless teenagers? The disparities in needs within the #LGBTQ community are profound, and we need specific supports for the groups at the highest risk.

 

What brings us together is this feeling of finding a way forward in a world where you’ve always known your life was going to be different. Partly due to the legacy of the HIV epidemic, we’ve designed a lot of our spaces around the needs of #gaymen. But where do our queer women go when they are facing a #mentalhealthcrisis? We need to look at a much broader range of needs and offer brick-and-mortar spaces to form a community.

I don’t want to say this isn’t happening already, but we need to rally around the health of our community the same way we rallied around same-sex marriage. That was a good effort, but it’s time to dig deeper.

 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

 

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article included Canadian data on the statistical divergence of the mortality rates due to suicide and HIV for gay and bisexual men. It has been updated to reflect U.S. figures.

Good Health is Mental Health

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #GenerationWhy: #Millennials Face Rising Rates of #Depression

Last week marked the first anniversary of the death of #KateSpade. 

The iconic designer died by #suicide, shocking (it seemed) the world as much as her family.

Spade’s design was known for being bright and sunny. Her handbags come in polka dots, her coffee cups in glitter. One of her most famous quotes was, “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”

Days after Spade’s death, #AnthonyBourdain fell victim to #suicide while working on his show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, in France.

Bourdain’s death came as a surprise, too, for many. He’d been quoted many times talking about his love for his work and life.

People like that, it’s thought, aren’t the kinds of people who die by #suicide. People with vast success, people who seem immensely happy, aren’t the kinds of people we expect to kill themselves.

But people like that take their own lives, anyway, even if the outside world doesn’t expect it.

While it might have seemed unexpected to lose Spade and Bourdain, death by #suicide is becoming more common, especially for Americans. #Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2016, according to data from the #AmericanPsychologicalAssociation, and the #suicide rate in the U.S. rose by 30 percent between 2000 and 2016.

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 #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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Rates of #depression and #suicidalbehaviors are on the rise for #Millennials, in particular, and #suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those aged 10-34.

But #Millennials are also uniquely equipped to face this growing #mentalhealthcrisis. We grew up more aware of #mentalillness, including #depression, #anxiety, and eating disorders, all illnesses with strong ties to #suicide. It’s a topic that we’ve kept communication relatively open on, slowly chipping away on the #stigma surrounding #mentalillness.

#Millennials and #GenerationZ have also made a point of emphasizing self-care and emotional awareness, both as part of the generational zeitgeist and as part of our interpersonal relationships. It’s made a difference in our approach to #mentalhealth, one that, over time, I hope seeps out from our peer group and into the rest of the world.

While my generation is making particularly strong strides on the front of #mentalhealth, it’s not a uniquely #Millennial problem, and there is much room for improvement across the board.

Removing the #stigma around #mentalillness and around asking for help with it is a great place to start. If people feel like they have a place to turn when they start to feel hopeless, the more likely they are to seek help. If they aren’t afraid of losing the support of family, friends, and coworkers, it can encourage those struggling with #mentalillness to seek help before it’s too late.

It’s hard to tell when someone is suffering, especially when you’re on the outside looking in. But #mentalillness does not discriminate, and #depression can hurt anyone.

We can learn a lesson from the tragic deaths of brilliant people. But for those lessons to make a difference, it has to start with those who are left behind and who can only hope to leave a little sparkle wherever we go.

Men and Suicide (2)