Mental health is never an easy topic to broach. It affects all of us in one way or another. It’s scary. It’s difficult. And it still carries an ugly stigma that should be long gone.
But talk about it is exactly what we should be doing. And days like World Mental Health Day (October 10th) are an incredible way to encourage positive discussions that can truly change lives.
With that said, however, it can still be terrifying to open up about mental illness. This is why it makes such a difference when public figures step forward and share brave stories with their audiences. Seeing healthy representations of mental health management can make a world of difference to someone who’s struggling.
Actor and activist Jameela Jamil knows this. And, being the admirable woman she is, Jamil chose to share an incredibly intimate story in the name of mental health today.
The Good Place star, who also runs a body-positive Instagram account @iweigh, took to social media to share the story of her own suicide attempt and in the process, highlighted the incredible power of treatment.
“Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay,” she wrote.
“This month, 6 years ago, I tried to take my own life. I’m so lucky that I survived, and went on to use EMDR to treat my severe PTSD. I urge you to hang on just a bit longer and ask for help if you need it. Because things can turn around. I promise.”
In her Instagram post, she went on to share useful resources and examples of positive accounts that people living with mental illness can refer to for guidance.
“Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to access affordable therapy. But if you can’t, in the mean time, there are helplines ( @crisistextline @giveusashoutinsta ) and community groups online around the world and friends and family who might surprise you as to how supportive they can be,” she wrote.
“It’s not something you have to tolerate on your own. You have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I feel you. I’ve been there. And it’s a process of radical self forgiveness, patience and care that will help you out. It feels like the pain, nightmares and exhaustion will never end sometimes, but they can. And they will.”
It’s incredibly moving to see Jamil share her journey in the name of other people’s health, and unsurprisingly, the post was met with a wave of gratitude and support. Here’s hoping we can all take a lesson from her bravery and become a little more open about the need to talk about mental health.
If you or someone you care about needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.