1 in 5 reading this struggle with mental health; so let’s talk about it

It doesn’t always seem cool to talk about mental health, let alone post about it on social media. So let’s take a second to do that now, because 1 in 5 of you reading this suffers from mental health; which means everyone reading this knows and loves someone who does.

derek turkey heel
Did you know that 43.8 million adults (19%) in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness? Did you know that 16 million adults in the U.S. suffered from a major depressive episode in the last year alone? 18% of adults experienced the effects of an anxiety disorder in that same time frame and of the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who battle substance abuse, 50.5% of them also battle mental illness.

I chose this photo of me snowboarding for this post because it’s probably what you’re used to seeing on this page. And that’s because it’s what I choose to show you. These days, we have that ability in our society… we get to decide what parts of us people see. You probably wouldn’t know that I deal with depression and anxiety (but you can probably tell that snowboarding’s good for my mental health 🤙🏼)

So, what can you do? You can pay attention. Does someone in your life seem different than they normally are? Are they distant, down, low-energy, uninterested, moody, explosive, combative, or constantly “on edge”? Does it worry you? Tell them. Call them. Encourage them to talk to someone. Don’t be their therapist, but be their advocate. Are they thinking of hurting themselves or someone else? Call someone immediately. Not sure who to call? Call their doctor, the local emergency room, or 911. Don’t be a bystander because the topic is uncomfortable. These conversations matter!


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Mental health effects someone you know and love. Talking about it is important. Share your thoughts with me @_derekmacdonald

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