Healthy Conversations about Mental Health

#EndStigmaSaveLives

The stigma associated with suicide contributes to feelings of uncertainty, shame, and self-loathing which can prevent someone from seeking help. The stigma also prolongs and intensifies the grieving process for those who've lost a loved one to suicide.

 

Reducing the stigma associated with mental health requires more than simply talking about it more often. We must focus on how we are talking about it. Is it from a place of fear and judgment or is it from a place of wellness, understanding and compassion? 

 

Having healthy conversations about mental health starts by shifting our perspective and being intentional about the words we’re using.

 

As long as any statement used to describe someone who’s struggling with mental health issues, suicide attempts, or losing their life to suicide is discussed with even a hint that the individual chose that path, they will never receive the care, compassion, support, and love they need to successfully navigate their situation. We must remove all judgment and focus on the fact that this individual is experiencing neurological irregularities which are impacting their ability to function in a healthy manner. 

 

Healthy people do not die from suicide. Suicide is the result of neurological irregularities that distort one’s reality, eliminate conscious control and impede one’s primal instinct to survive. Their ability to make choices has been taken away. 

 

Every organ in the body has the potential to fail ... even the brain.

Intentional Dialogue

#EndStigmaSaveLives

Phrases that Perpetuate the Stigma

#EndStigmaSaveLives

  • What do you have to feel depressed about

  • You’re choosing to feel this way

  • You need to just get over it 

  • He took his own life 

  • She committed suicide

  • She killed herself   

  • He chose to die

  • We had another suicide

Phrases that Support the Individual

#EndStigmaSaveLives

  • I’m sorry you’re hurting

  • No one chooses to feel this way

  • I’m here for you … I love you

  • I lost him to suicide

  • She died from suicide

  • She lost her life to suicide

  • He lost his battle with depression

  • We lost someone to suicide

Going Beyond Safe Messaging to Effectively Share Meaningful Stories Focused on Healing

#EndStigmaSaveLives

When we share our story, we have the potential to leave a lasting positive impact, but if not properly prepared, we run the risk of inflicting harm regardless of our intention. Whether we are telling our story in a public forum or simply human to human, it’s up to each of us as individuals  to be vigilant in how we express ourselves. We must be present, in tune, and conscientious of how our words are impacting those around us.

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