I’ve been stalking Twitter lately, using the hashtags #suicide and #depressed. I’m trying to find people who are reaching out on Twitter because they have nowhere else to go. There are so many people looking for recognition of their pain, looking for hope.
Twitter provides a great degree of anonymity for some people. And as such, it can be the perfect outlet for people wanting to tell their story or wanting help, but who don’t know how to tell the people in their lives face-to-face. These people represent a huge portion of the population that are suffering from mental illness without getting the help they need. The National Alliance for Mental Illness estimates that nearly two-thirds of people with mental illness don’t seek help.
These people are seeking help:
These are just a small sampling of the kinds of posts you can find on Twitter if you’re looking. Most of the people I reply to don’t acknowledge my message, but sometimes I get a message back saying, “Thank you.” or “I’ll try.” And I know that sometimes I am helping.
I wonder if Twitter had been around when I was a teenager, would I have reached out? Would anyone have listened? And would it have helped?
I can only assume that the people writing these tweets want to be seen and heard. And even though I don’t know any of them, I can at least show them that they are in fact being seen and heard.
If you are on a social media platform like Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, look around using the hashtags #depressed, #mentalhealth, #anxiety and see if you can say a kind word to someone who is suffering. It might just make there day a little better. And who wouldn’t do that if they could?
Use hashtags like #NotAlone #DontGiveUp #LiveBrave #SickNotWeak #ConquerWorry to help connect them with other people who are struggling.
Let’s break the stigma of mental illness and help people who are suffering in silence and darkness come out into the light.