Congratulations on seeing September! Hopefully, no more Jumanji traps this month.
September happens to be Suicide Prevention Month.
The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 800,000 people die as a result of suicide yearly. Suicide levels are alarmingly high among the youth. Here in Kenya, suicide cases that have been reported are at a steady increase. This is a worrying trend as on average 317 people commit suicide every year with men taking the lead.
There are very many mental health issues like depression that lead people to take their own lives as such we need to have more conversations around mental health and really get the word out about it because there are many people out there or even around you who are struggling.
The Narrative of the Strong Friend
At some point, social media had romanticized the idea of being ‘the strong friend’.
You should be shoulder to cry on.
Never showing weakness.
Always there to encourage and uplift others (at the expense of yourself).
Hardly caving in the face vulnerability.
But lo and behold! ‘the strong friend’ took their own life. Then people are left wondering how they never saw anything off. When all the while it was in plain sight.
So check up on your friends and family, even the ones who seem to have it together.
There are a few things you can do to aid in this month’s powerful awareness campaign
- Take your time and familiarize yourself with effective ways to prevent suicide.
- Stir conversations on matters mental health to help spread the word and reduce stigma.
- Be kind and patient with people you interact with.
Lastly, I read a tweet that really made me re-think how we address some mental health issues.
What do you think?