The suicide rate in the United States has risen by 30% since the 1990’s per the CDC. An even sadder fact is that it does not seem to be slowing down, either. With the recent news of the back to back suicide deaths of celebrities like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, suicide is getting more attention today. And it needs to. In fact, the topic of mental health and mental illness needs to become a reality and focus to slow these rates down and make suicide an afterthought, and not a forethought.
1 in 5 people in the US suffers from a form of mental illness. Many more remain undiagnosed. On top of that, mental illness is one of the most stigmatized and most misunderstood areas of medicine, and the reason lies within the media. (See Unfairly Labeled: The Bipolar Stigma for more on this topic).
If we can open a dialogue that can change how we view and react to mental illness, maybe we can slowdown that rate. Instead of stigmatizing those with mental illness, maybe we can help them survive through the darkness without feeling lost and alone.