Being in this space for a while now, I get pings from friends, fam, coworkers, members of this community, daily, anytime something MH-related hits the news. I don’t need alerts open on my phone bc of the influx of shares (good thing, not complaining)!
The stories run the gamut: the loss of a high profile figure, stats from recent studies, & even pop culture announcements. And for those who are part of that group, it’s funny bc you know the back & forth usually starts w: “Have you seen this yet? Am I the 1st sending to you?”
But I gotta say only 1 person sent me this particular story this wk. And he didn’t send me the article. He shot me a txt as HE, was watching the show w his wife. It came from my buddy Brett, who still works in sports & in the past yr has opened up abt his own MH very courageously. Here was the exchange:
“Dude, you watching the Bachelorette right now?”
“The what? No, haven’t been a member of Bachelor Nation for some time, what’s up? You watch that show?”
“I love this show, but one of the the contestants just totally opened up abt his suicide attempts. He’s a former member of the military. Broke his back & so his military career ended early. Ran short on $, & developed an eating disorder. Lost purpose & it led to some really tough times.”
“Wow, I’m hooked. Gonna look for it OnDemand.”
So I did..& here’s the line this contestant shared that struck me: “I was completely lost. My life was very dark & I didn’t know how to say that I needed things.”
I had no idea how many ppl still watch Bachelorette (in what seems like season 137), so I looked it up. 5.07 mill in the US watched this episode. In today’s fragmented TV world, that’s enormous.
And what’s big is, these types of convos didn’t happen/weren’t aired even a yr ago. This is progress. The contestant opening up! The network choosing to air it!
And I’m happy Today added this line from Kelly Green, psychologist @ UPenn focused on suicide prevention: “Up to 60% of ppl who die by suicide had no known mental illness at the time of their death.”
This can happen to anyone…& this show/article helped educate/normalize in a BIG way.