03/07/2023 One of The Biggest Issues Facing The Mental Health Movement Is How We Narrowly Define What Contributes To The Mental Health Equation

Having been in this space for a # of yrs now, I like to believe I keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening, generally, in the world of MH.

Articles, TV segments, campaigns, & typically if I miss something, one of you is there to nudge me: “Hey did you see this”? I so appreciate that camaraderie/teamwork.

I have to admit though that I was upset w myself, when yesterday (last slide➡️), I found out via post, that March 6th was “Black Balloon Day” – for Overdose Awareness.

One of my formal partners on this SameHere venture: Dr. John Rosa, has been an expert in the addiction & overdose spaces for decades. He’s been a surrogate to the White House the last 3 administrations. It wasn’t until I read his post yesterday – abt Black Balloon Day, that I even knew this day existed. His most impactful lines in posts: “In the last year on record, the US lost 80k+ lives to overdose, & if you’re under the age of 50, overdose is now the leading cause of death in your age bracket.”

Those numbers are staggering. It reminded me of when I first got in the MH space generally, in 2017. I didnt work on my MH for most/all of my life, bc the campaigns didn’t apply to me. I didnt think I had a “label” & that was for “other ppl.” But when my crash happened, I quickly learned how wrong I was. I learned abt root causes – chronic stress & trauma from challenging life events, & began studying how those things build in, & impact our system, but can also be released & rewired out, for better health.

Even IN that crusade/search, I found very little on suicide. I had to search agency statistics to find out horrifying stats like: almost 50k lost to suicide each yr in the US, 22 service ppl per day, 1 million lost annually, worldwide.

The lack of suicide messaging reminded me of yesterday’s experience: I’m IN the space, & didn’t know this day existed. 

Trauma, addiction, suicide, overdose – they’re all cousins living in the SAME house. It’s time we raised the volume on all, & how they’re connected, so we can positively change outcomes. Get them out of the shame shadow. The incessant focus in MH on labels, alone, is quite literally killing people.

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