I envision a mental-health center, but like the Y. Not a hospital – not a place where you go when you are sick – but a place where you go to get strong. I want it to become a cultural norm that people go “work out” at a place that strengthens their spirit.
There are too many young boys who are killing people. There are too many people killing themselves, either fast or slow. There are too many people suffering in silence, faking it and not making it. This is a sign that something isn’t working.
We need to take away the stigma of mental health. It is for everybody. It isn’t shameful to get help. It is bad to need help and not get it. We all need help. People need to learn how to recover their spirits and build them up. Our souls, our spirits are like flames. If we let them die down, we are done for.
If we make it so it is a cultural norm that people seek to prevent problems, then we will save a lot of lives. And when I say “save lives” I don’t just mean from suicide and murder. I mean people will have lives worth living. There is a difference between “living” and “being alive”.
We have to make mental health something that everybody works on. We have to remove the stigma about getting help. The well-being of our families, our friends, our neighborhood, and our world depends on it. How many more people have to die, either at their own hands or the hands of strangers, before we act?