The world has felt two tremendous losses this week: Both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain lost their lives to suicide, reminding so many of us that mental health issues do not discriminate. Additionally, a July 7th CDC study reported that suicide rates have increased by 25% since 1999, highlighting the fact that the system is failing many who struggle.
In an attempt to make a difference, actress Olivia Munn just shared an extremely candid and personal Instagram post about her own experiences with depression and suicidal thoughts, reminding her followers that any feared awkwardness or embarrassment over reaching out for help is temporary, but “suicide is permanent.” The X-Men actress ended her statement with a list of international suicide hotlines all over the world.
Even though we’ve made great strides toward mental health awareness in recent years, stigma and misconceptions around mental illness still exist. There are still factions who view mental health struggles as a sign of “weakness,” or something to be “powered through,” and others still who feel shame or embarrassment about something that is entirely not their fault.
We’re heartened to see public figures like Munn using their platform to break down the stigma, as well as remind people that mental illness has no face and can affect anyone, regardless of how seemingly “perfect” or “problem-free” their lives may appear from the outside.
Let’s use the events of this past week as a reminder to always be compassionate toward the experiences of others, and to always fight for access to mental health care whenever we have the opportunity in our local communities and voting booths.
If you or anyone you know is experience suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, day or night, at 1-800-273-8255.