Some food for thought: part of MH stigma is related to our fear of openly sharing what’s erroneously considered a “weakness.” But, what’s also holding us back as a society is how little we applaud the courage of those who’ve battled back from Major MH complications, to live healthy & productive lives.
This picture is from a tweet @darrenrovell sent out yesterday. It’s a video that deserves to get a lot of attention & support. Just under a yr after NFL player Ryan Shazier was carted off the field in Cinci from a spinal injury during a game, he walked back onto the field to thunderous applause. If you look at the reactions on social media, even for Darren’s twitter standards, this was a TREMENDOUS sign of support: ~ 22k likes & 4K+ retweets. Not everything can be accurately measured in social media world, nor should it be, but the point is – a tremendous feat after a tremendous health scare & ultimately rehab, & we applaud it, rightfully so.
Now, imagine a player in any sport, or any realm of the entertainment world developed Major PTSD or Major MH complications that sidelined them from their craft for near a yr. It could have been from anything: watching a teammate get gruesomely injured, losing an important coach or figure in their life, or even a head injury that might not have caused concussive symptoms or spinal ones, but instead MH ones. If they came back on the field or screen or stage after missing almost a yr due to those Major MH complications, would this level of support have been shown – at the venue? On social media?
When a child actor comes back after a bout of major depression do we applaud it this way? A singer after trauma & life on the road throws them for a loop & a path of self-medication, do they get thunderous applause just by walking on stage the next time?
We’re far from it. And this is by no means meant to downplay the incredible accomplishment of guys like Shazier: but for those of you who know how hard it is to battle thru & return from MH complications, let’s do our part to support & encourage those who come back, in the same way we see in this twitter picture.