Why is it so difficult to find good conversations about mental health? Especially when so many of us brush up against difficult situations that could define us or destroy us over the course of our lives?
I started thinking about this series last year when I watched a very good friend of mine go through a deep struggle with depression. She wasn’t the first person I knew going through that particular process, but she was the first person I was ever afraid for. Her mind was going to a dark place, and I was worried that she wouldn’t want to stay in this world for much longer. She’s still here, but it has been a long, rough process. I read and re-read the Ask a Model Minority Suicide archives, trying to find something that would help her. She already knew about the resources available–in fact, she knew much better than I did: the numbers to the suicide hotlines, the online support groups, the ways to keep on medication without health insurance. She knew how to navigate the system.
But it still wasn’t helping.
Around this time, I became more aware of how many of my friends were in some form of therapy or counseling: how some people became devotees of therapy and others found it lacking; how, as my friends and I get older, we realize exactly how much we’ve used various things to self-medicate. And how little we are told about taking care of all parts of ourselves.
But outside of planning a few interviews, I kept this series in the back of my head.
The only reason this series is finally seeing the light of day isn’t a good one: a little over a week ago, a work acquaintance sent an intent to commit suicide as the subject line of a bcc’ed email.
So, this series isn’t going to be perfect and planned. Maybe it doesn’t need to be.
Maybe it’s supposed to be a little raw.
Maybe it doesn’t need to be perfect to help someone.
I’ve got a few things I’m working on: a couple pieces, some interviews to set up, a public document to open. But, hey, we’re wide open. If you know of good pieces or have a resource or a story to share, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.