Tonight on sbs’ insight the topic of discussion was suicide. I just felt that I had to write something about it but I really have no idea where to start. There is so many places to go with it.
The main idea that came from the discussion was that suicide needs to be talked about. I couldn’t agree more, why in the 21st century is mental illness still such a taboo subject? Is it because it’s just too hard? I think that there is just do little real information about mental illness that some of the public are still stuck in the dark ages when it comes to understanding what mental illness is about. People still see mental illness sufferers as ‘crazy’ people that you should stay away from. Some of the most compassionate, caring people I know suffer from mental illnesses.
Last time I went to my appointment at my local mental health clinic, I was sitting out the front talking to a few people and a man sat down with his lunch and offered me a drink. I thought this was strange. Our hospital is getting a makeover and he had a construction uniform on. I thought it was strange that of all the places to have lunch he would choose the courtyard of mental health and sit amongst the ‘crazies’. He intrigued me as he joined in the conversations easily. I thought maybe he did this everyday. It wasn’t until he had been sitting there for at least 15 minutes that he revealed he was a patient. I was dumbfounded and ashamed. I’d made the judgement that because he didn’t look ‘sick’. I of all people should know that mental illness is an inside illness, it can affect anyone. The person sitting next to you on the bus, they could have a mental illness. I had a new understanding of this man and felt that I wasn’t so guarded with him because he was ‘one of us’. I wonder if his workmates knew of his struggles. Probably not considering the industry he worked in.
Lets hope that by the time our children are the adults and the next generation has begun that mental illness and suicide won’t be such a taboo subject. That mental illness will be talked about like the common cold or flu. We can only hope and spread awareness.