Friday, October 1, 2010

This is why...

I have been thinking about this for a few days now, but Ellen's emotional video concerning the topic has really made an impression on me.

I am so upset over Tyler Clementi's death and the recent teen suicides this month. I do not want to talk politics on this blog, I do not want to get into constant arguments with people over things. That is not the focus. But I honestly believe that as an 18-year-old, you have enough to worry about and should not have to deal with people tormenting you because of who you are as a person. You should be loved and supported and allowed to discover yourself and not shunned for that, no matter what you may become. When people ask me why I want to be a therapist, this is why. So that every kid has someone they can talk to, someone who can empathize and care about them unconditionally, and we can prevent things like this from happening.

I have already been thinking about an entry for the month of December talking about charity and how it's important to give back (really at any time of year) but especially around the Holidays when we should be thankful for what we have, and help those who do not. But I think it's important to bring up Hopeline and 1-800-SUICIDE's work not only championing for Mental Health awareness in Congress but also around the country. They want to take away the stigma of mental illness and help people just like you and me survive in the face of that and many other adversities. About 26% of Americans will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life. At one point in my life, I was one of them. If you can, when you are thinking about the next charity you want to donate to, consider Hopeline. Very few people do the work they do, trying to get rights for the mentally ill. The next person they save could be someone you love.

Tyler Clementi's story is not just a story about a young man who was gay and killed himself because of it. It's a story about a young man, who had parents who loved him and was bullied in high school and in college and couldn't take it anymore. We have all been bullied at some point in our lives, and it's a shame that for him, he never saw it ending. And it's a shame that two parents, and countless family members and friends had to say goodbye to someone they cared so much about, so early in his life. I hope that something like this does not happen to any of us, and I hope that one day stories like this stop happening.

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