My freshman year of college, I had two close friends loose their battle with depression. I sincerely wish that no one will ever have to endure the hardships of loosing a loved one to suicide, and I hope that...we are able to raise the awareness of mental health, and remove the stigma so that people are willing to seek help.
Right now, as you read this, there are individuals hurting, feeling like there is nowhere to turn, and afraid to seek help. You can provide direction, information, and support for those struggling. It may feel like an uphill battle, but every step...pushes the cause forward.
I hit my low point during the summer before I went to college, when I was hospitalized for self-harm and suicidal tendencies. As I started my freshman year, I felt completely overwhelmed by the mixture of a new environment and my still-ongoing recovery. However, instead of trying to hide my depression, I told my friends about it. To my surprise, they were extremely supportive. When I had crying spells or self-harm relapses, they didn't distance themselves, but rather asked how they could help.
Every time I work to change the dialogue surrounding mental health I think of her and how changing the world's perception can make a significant difference for all. I consider myself grateful that she is still working to love and accept herself even more than I always did and do. I advocate wholeheartedly for those who need a platform for their voice to be heard, for the other half of me whose pain and suffering was palpable, and I advocate for myself because I value my own mental health.