Mandate Mental Health
In recent news Cheslie Kryst, Miss America of 2019 and top 10 contestant of Miss universe committed suicide on January 30, 2022. This tragic news was preceded by the suicide of Ian Alexander Jr. the son of award-winning actress Regina King.
Celebrity suicide gets media attention, yet the CDC statistics reveal 1.38 million attempted to kill themselves in 2019, 3.1 million made a plan, and 10.6 million are reported to have had suicidal thoughts. U.S. National Library of medicine and institute of health reports suicide as the 10th leading cause of death overall and the 2nd leading cause of death of those between the ages of 10 to 34.
The year 2019 had two times as many suicides then homicides. The alarm has been sounded for the world and our government to take notice and prioritize mental health.
In 2021, men ages 25 to 34 and women ages 45 to 54 had the highest suicides of the year. As of 2022, it has been far too many and still counting, with all this collected data mental health is still the least talked about and funded program. There is no mandate for mental health care.
Mental illness is still stigmatized, especially in the Black community. I am here to tell you, it cannot be prayed away, it has to be addressed and treated with intention, effective treatment, awareness, and planning. Instead, it is ignored until the worst happens.
Depression is real and it kills millions world wide every year. Having the greatest impact on our youth. I know this to be true. I first attempted to harm myself at the tender age of 6 because I grew up in a violent home and was a victim of it. I spent my adolescence years wishing I was dead and taking an overdose of pills as a cry for help. This continued on into my young adult and middle age years being I felt trapped in the clutches of an abusive marriage.
Along the way, I loss my faith and connection to God even though I been raised to know and believe in Him. I had received mental health treatment starting at age 6, which was helpful but did not resolve my issues because I was still intertwined in the hands of an abusive mother and seeing repeated violence in my own home; witnessing the degeneration of mental health in my mom.
It wasn’t until the age of 38 that I took a last chance on God, inspired by a family member I turned to the voice of Joel Olsteen. His ministry awakened something that was dead in me and from that moment on I felt a change occurring. I drew near to God and had an encounter with Jesus late in the night while everyone else was sleeping. Falling to my knees I begged and pleaded after having prophetic dreams of what was in store for me. It was that night he touched me and in that moment, I was forever changed. I felt alive again and began a new journey on becoming mentally healthy. Yet, I was still stuck in an abusive home, married to an abusive man, and in need of healing from childhood trauma and had a set back yet again.
2017 found me overdosing on my anniversary, as he watched me swallow a half bottle of pills with tears and walked out leaving me there alone in the hotel room. As you can see, I survived what was set up to destroy me. That night I once again got on my knees and pleaded to the lord to save me.
You see I had three children who needed me, one was just six-months old. The following year I broke free from my abuser and continued to heal.
In this new year of 2022, despite life still being hard, facing challenges, isolation and impending court battles, I desire to live and not die. My faith has not failed me and I am closer to God, my redeemer more than ever.
I have come to see the gift of living, the possibilities in tomorrow. I firmly believe in an instant our whole life can be resurrected and changed for the better. As long as my maker, the creator of this great universe allows me to breathe, I will fight for my life and live it abundantly.
Check on your friends and loved ones regularly, you will rarely know what they are going through unless they tell you, very few are as open as me.
Cheslie Kryst’s mother has recently stated, her daughter hid high functioning depression, meaning she presented herself as a happy, cheerful person who had it all together, but was suffering internally.
Many days, I too engage the public with a smile, laughter and jokes while my life is in shambles and I fight to keep from falling apart.
I encourage you as the reader to do the same, even if your life up to this point has been charmed, I can almost guarantee at some point that will change leaving you a mess and depressed, facing a moment when you too will have to choose between life or death. I implore you to choose life and seek help in times of despair. Know, there is someone out there who cares and there is a God who will grant you a peace beyond understanding in every and any circumstance if you only trust in him and ask. We as a community and a people should stop hiding behind our pain and let others know what we are going through. It is empowering to share your story with others, it helps you and them.
There may be something they can do, if nothing more than to take you out to dinner or sit for a cup of coffee and provide that attentive listening ear. Let us no longer hide in shame or shame others for not having it all together.
This trend of suicide will not change until change first starts with us. There is help out there and different types of therapy beyond medication, it’s up to you to research and seek it. We should be demanding our government to provide free mental health care like they do vaccines, mandate mental health check ups on the job, for single parent homes and in all schools and colleges.
Jobs should mandate a paid weekly health day to relax, rechargeand pamper ourselves, not counting on the weekend to be enough. Churches should be open to discuss this, having a licensed therapist on staff to provide counseling with the prayer, more can be and should be done to heal our minds, not just our bodies.
Follow my blog at conservationoflife.video.blog to explore my journey and therapeutic treatments I have discovered on my road to healing. Thank you for reading, the goal has always been to inform, educate, uplift and encourage others.
Sources: CDC, WHO, U.S. National Library of medicine Institute of health