Many are struck by the news of Kate Spade‘s death. Kate is an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the founder and former co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York. A lot of people adore her fashion bags and accessories. She was an icon. Her unexpected death is a good reminder for all of us that mental health matters.

A housekeeper found Spade dead in her Manhattan apartment on June 5, 2018. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging. She had left a note addressed to her daughter. Her husband released a statement regarding his wife’s death and the fact that she had suffered from depression and anxiety. Her family and people close to her hold differing opinions on she may or may not have contemplated on suicide since Robin Williams‘ death. But the fact remains, Kate has been suffering from the inside. So did Robin.

It is rather odd that we are mostly unaware when someone suffers from mental health issues. Sadly, it is still taboo. There still is stigma. So, people hardly speak about it. Mental health matters, let’s stop treating it like it doesn’t. It is not taboo. Let’s take the stigma out.

Mental health issues are no different from our physiological issues. Although, there has not been tests to show how much of serotonin or other biochemicals we lacked in as much as an HbA1C will indicate how well your blood glucose levels or sugar is being controlled; mental health matters. It is as real as any health issue.

When we hear of a friend or relative having a heart problem or notice possible symptoms, we want them to see a cardiologist – a heart doctor. We want them to start taking their medications. We want them to make lifestyle changes that we believe will benefit them. These are all good!

On the contrary, we see and witness someone possibly losing their ground, seemingly anxious often, seeming sad in a way that sucks life of them; we hardly tell them to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. We don’t tell them to take medications they may need. instead, very often, we brush their symptoms and tell them it will be okay. We tell them to shape up, stop sulking, it’s all in their minds. These are all not good!

I would like to share this infographic that may help us be more aware of our language to people suffering mental health issues. Often, these which we should not say are the very things we say. It does not help.

Mental Health does not discriminate. Young or old. Rich or poor. Successful or mediocre. Girl or boy. The list can go on. there is no saying who has it…and who needs help. Mental Health matters!

As we here in the Philippines has began a new school year, I urge schools to be more mindful and keen. Many of our young needs our help. Schools are still amongst the best alllies we have to early detection of warning signs. I am taking the liberty of sharing an older article I have written.

 

It could help if we also make our children aware that there is help available. There is a hotline they can reach out to. HOPE hotline is available. It’s just a call away. Those who are in emotional crisis and in need of immediate assistance, please contact the 24/7 HOPELINE at: (02) 804-HOPE (4673) 0917 558 HOPE (4673). You can learn more about them through the  Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF).

Mental Health matters. Let us all accept and embrace that truth.

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