Mental health has been a trending topic in the media these past weeks succeeding the tragic and very public deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
These celebrity suicides highlight a serious problem many Americans face. Within minutes of these news stories breaking, fans came together on social media to mourn the loss through posts, tweets, and snaps. Although we see social media as an easy way to connect with other people, these digital platforms may ironically be a driving force behind America’s mental health crisis.
According to wellness expert and mental health advocate Marina Shakour Haber, the more connected we are digitally, the more disconnected we are from ourselves and others.
“Depression is powerful and unpredictable. Although social media is a good tool to raise awareness of these issues, it’s not the face-to-face conversation needed to save lives. It’s the biggest contradiction of today’s modern world…”
…says Shakour, who has devoted her life to helping people combat mental health struggles. As an author and a speaker she works to change the mindset and attitudes of Americans – something she is uniquely poised to do as an immigrant to this country.
“There is an undeniable stigma against mental health in the US” says Shakour. “It is only spoken about in whispers or behind the shield of your computer screen.”
I can’t count the number of studies I’ve read indicating the importance of social support.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is independently evaluated by a federally-funded investigation team from Columbia University’s Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene. The Lifeline receives ongoing consultation and guidance from national suicide prevention experts, consumer advocates, and other stakeholders through the Lifeline’s Steering Committee, Consumer/Survivor Committee, and Standards, Training and Practices Committee.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention for all, including innovative public messaging, best practices in mental health, and cutting-edge partnerships.
If you or someone you care about needs help call 1-800-273-8255.