By Nakita L Williams, Counseling Intern
How are you doing? A simple question, but the response a person can provide it becomes a weighted question. How often do we really take the time to think about this question and evaluate the person's response? Whether the response is "Good", "I'm well", "Ok", and even "I can't complain," only one of these responses lets us know that they are in a good mental place. However, it has become so customary to ask the question that we don't evaluate how weighted their answer is. Could these responses be silent cries for help that we are missing? Depression, Anxiety, and Stress are some of the leading factors that can cause a person to feel hopeless and sometimes contemplate suicide.
On a recent Facebook post, I posed the question, "What made you consider suicide"? I'm not sure what I thought the responses would be, or if any. However, out of 261 comments, at least 100-150 of the comments were from individuals who had contemplated suicide. They proceeded to say why and what interventions prevented them from following through with the thought.
I personally was amazed by how many people had this thought cross their mind, as well as to see how open they were to share their story.
What surprised me the most was the inboxes asking me, "why would I ask that question?" and comments noting that we shouldn't talk about suicide on such a public platform. My question is, why not?
We can talk about everything else on social media, why is this topic taboo? I personally was shocked to learn that so many of my loved ones were experiencing these thoughts and suffering through them alone. So many stated that they were embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone, and so many were relieved to see that they weren't alone.
When will we normalize having these conversations? These conversations can raise awareness and provide a proactive approach to decreasing the number of people who commit suicide. When will we normalize completing mental health check-in with our loved ones? We must start having a conversation about emotional and mental well-being.