If you’re reading this chances are I’m not going to change your mind; we probably think alike anyway .
Just in case . . .
As if you needed proof that much more rhetoric needs to be on the stigma of mental health, just listen to this factoid from the National Institutes of Health:
“Of the 32,000 deaths per year from gun violence in the U.S., more than 60% are suicides.”
Gun control isn’t the issue here; guns are simply used as a means to an end (literally). It’s as foolish to suggest suicide can be prevented by gun control as it is to call for the draining of rivers lest someone drown themselves in one, cease production of pharmaceuticals lest someone o.d., or regulate gas ovens lest someone stick their head in one.
Banning guns is an example of suicide prevention when the horse has long since left the barn.
For many reasons, suicide is manly and depression is not. Consider that only 1 in 4 of the mentally ill feel others are understanding or compassionate. Don’t care? You ought to: 1 of 5 Americans will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. That means you or someone you love will suffer.
The stigma smothering mental health transcends even an issue as weighty as gun control.
Let’s face it: mental health is not a sexy subject, even in an election year and even though many more Americans are affected by mental health issues than by gun violence — witness the almost two thirds of Americans (mostly men) whose experience of gun violence is at their own hands.
Self- inflicted gun violence — and by extension all suicides — can be interrupted by how we treat someone in profound emotional pain.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide talk to the folks at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7, @ 1-800-273 TALK (8255). Can’t hurt.
Kathe Skinner is a strong advocate for normalizing the necessity of mental health. Kathe’s private practice in Colorado Springs focuses on the influences of family of origin and biology. She has been a Marriage & Family Therapist for over 20 years. Find out more about her at www.coupleswhotalk.com where you can also subscribe to Kathe’s free, curated, weekly newspaper.
Copyright, 2016 Being Heard, LLC