By Mark Antony Rossi
The announcement of another suicide adds heavily to a continuing sad social state of affairs. Its destructive impact is multi-level and staggers through lives three-fold. The first impact is the untimely loss of a human life. More tragic than most deaths since incomprehensible forces play a role in self-termination.
The second wave involves a sleepy public generally unconcerned until it hears about a celebrity. Then platitudes and proverbs are thrown like garnish at a bad picnic. The third is the hardest to define because it rocks family and friends to their very core. Some feel responsibility; others grieve from survivor’s guilt. If we accept the known facts about the link between suicide and depression and depression and mental illness then it is past time to declare these unnecessary deaths a mental health crisis. The legitimate topic of Mental Health can no longer be pushed aside like a dirty secret. Transgender bathroom activists have more of a platform than millions of mentally compromised suffering in virtual silence.
The mentally ill remain a vibrant part of the fabric of society. But as reminders of the last taboo many choose a claustrophobic closet than face repeated ridicule from family and the world-at-large. We richly benefit from their presence yet sadly they do not benefit from our support. Genuine suicide prevention must start at drug rehabilitation centers. The detection of depression needs to be made mandatory. A national conversation is long overdue on how to spot signs, intervene, treat and ultimately create a local network of support.
Genuine suicide prevention is wiser than bumper sticker quips, toll free numbers and finger pointing at antidepressants. For these passive politically correct measures have a next to nonexistent energy to deter vulnerable members of a nation in denial. If we, as a respectable society, are serious about significantly reducing suicide then we must cease lighting candles and instead light a fire under the rear ends of the self-righteous whom blindly believe none of this can occur in their backyard. And the sentimental who waste time and money on stupid monuments instead of opening their mouths in support of community clinics needed in their neighborhood.
Words will not stop our children from dying or replace them after they are prematurely extinguished from a culture bent on worshiping mirrors and neglecting minors. This rampant selfishness may not be the reason for the depressed walking the earth but it sure doesn’t lend a loving hand to those needing it most. Needing it now.
About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.