It’s time for a change
It’s time to put an end to the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses
It’s time to stop shaming those with mental health problems
It’s time to start regarding mental health the same way we regard physical health
We would never shun someone because they have cancer
We would never gossip about someone because they have asthma
We would never evade someone because they have scoliosis
So why should we treat someone with a mental illness any differently?
You may not be able to see the effects of a mental illness, but they’re there
That man at the grocery store looks fine, but he doesn’t get out of bed most days
The woman in the coffee shop seems fine, but she tried to take her own life last night
The girl at school has the appearance of a normal teenager, but she has begun starving herself
The whole community comes together to support the young boy with a heart condition
Meanwhile, the man with depression sits at home alone
The woman with bipolar disorder discretely picks up her medication at the pharmacy
The girl with an eating disorder sneaks off to her therapy session
The young boy has a life saving heart surgery and recovers, the community celebrates
Meanwhile, the man with depression overdoses on heroin while trying to numb his pain
The woman with bipolar disorder decides to end her life, she swallows a whole bottle of pills
The girl with an eating disorder goes into cardiac arrest while out for a run
What if we had supported the man, the woman and the girl the same way we had supported the young boy?
What if we regarded mental maladies the same way we regard the physical ones?
What if people with mental illnesses knew that we’d be supportive rather than judgmental of their struggles?
What if there was more awareness and acceptance?
Starting today, let’s live in a better world
A world where the man, the woman and the girl receive as much solace as the young boy
A world where the man, the woman and the girl feel comfortable reaching out for the help they so desperately need
A world where the man, the woman, the girl and the young boy all survive to tell their stories