On a beautiful sun-kissed evening in June, my dear friend Michele gathered a group of friends in her beautiful garden for an evening of friendship and conversation – about mental health. As the hummingbirds fluttered from bloom to bloom, we savored blueberry scones, topped with fresh raspberries and cream, grateful to be alive and in each other’s company. One of the women’s friends had lost her nephew to suicide a couple of days earlier and she couldn’t make sense of why a bright young man who had graduated from college two days before, had chosen to take his life. How can any of us make sense of a loss like that? Yet, we wondered how powerful it would be for family and friends to gather together and talk about mental health issues as a normal part of the human experience, and to help and support each other in our collective quest for health and well being. Perhaps then people struggling with depression-like the young man would no longer feel hopeless and isolated. Perhaps he would have found comfort and strength in knowing that he was not alone in his pain.
As the young comedian and activist Kevin Breel said in his heartwarming TED talk: “We need to stop the ignorance about mental health issues, stop the intolerance, stop the stigma, and stop the silence, and we need to take away the taboos, take a look at the truth, and start talking because the only way we’re going to beat a problem that people are battling alone is by standing strong together.
I agree with Kevin. We are #StrongerTogether.
If you are struggling with a mental health issue, or you are a family member or care provider, please ask for help. It is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.
Wishing you wellness,
Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS