The Time Is Now

As the adage goes, "hurt people, hurt people." It's time to stop the stigma around mental health and suicide to heal from grief, loss, and trauma. It's time to find and treat the source of the problem as opposed to the symptoms alone. It's time to normalize healing.

Traci Demus-Gamble

8/18/20232 min read

woman in black jacket sitting on blue bench
woman in black jacket sitting on blue bench

In a world where so many hurting people are hurting people, the time is now for healing. It is time to acknowledge that many of us suffer from mental illnesses, whether diagnosed or not. It is time to bring awareness and prevention to mental wellness and suicide. It is time to stop the stigma around mental health and suicide.

It's Personal

In my personal experience, I've learned that mental health crises are often rooted in trauma, loss, grief, and even genetics. The problem is that we generally do not research these issues, we write people off as "crazy" or some other negative adjective. The truth is that everyone has experienced at least one of these. It is time to stop dismissing grief, loss, and trauma and begin showing compassion, grace, and mercy.

Not Much Time Left

Another reason to make a change now is that time is running out. We can't wait for anyone to "fix" themselves, because they cannot. If they could, they would have done so. The time spent analyzing what someone did after the episode could have been and should have been spent talking to them about their feelings, past, pain, fears, doubts, and so on before they acted. If only we could be a sympathetic or an empathetic ear, we would learn that we share many similarities. Even our differences make us unique and special. We would then open the door to healing by allowing time and space to share whatever it is a person may be dealing with or going through without any judgment. Doing so could prevent someone from an untimely death, not just physically, but also from feeling like they are dying mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Stop the Stigma!

Suicide can be prevented and mental wellness can take place. There is no shame in seeking professional help. We have to stop the stigma! Now is the time. I don't want to lose another person to suicide or to a mental health episode gone too far. I don't want to see another mother, father, sister or brother experience the pain that I felt when my oldest daughter died by suicide. Her death affected all of us.

What To Do

I challenge you to ask your people, "Are you okay?", "Are you thinking about hurting yourself or anyone?", and "What do you need me to do to help?" We also need to remind our people that they are not alone and be there for them. Say to them, "I'm here for you", "I'll stay as long as you need me to", or "I care about you and what you're going through." What are you waiting for? Check on someone. The time is now!

What are your thoughts?