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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Boston Council Declared September Suicide Prevention Month

As September draws to a close, so does National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem—yet so many lives are taken every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, “Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide” and, “There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes.”
Ever since the 2018 suicides of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, there has been a lot of talk on social media about “checking up on your friends.” This is a great movement and well-intentioned friends will check up on their bud, but it’s hard when they don’t understand what their friend is going through. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, eating disorders etc., mental illness takes many forms.
When I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder and ADHD, my mother told me to never tell anyone. Job discrimination is very real for every person with mental illness and even more so with people living with schizophrenia. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “Individuals living with the condition [schizophrenia] are six to seven times more likely to be unemployed than the general population, with a 70-90 percent unemployment rate—a higher rate than any other group with disabilities in the United States.” Another NAMI survey reports, “…the national unemployment rate for individuals receiving public mental health services is approximately 80 percent.”
Never say, “I’m so bipolar” if you’re talking about a minor mood swing. I hate saying this but it’s important: never use mental illness as an insult. Normally, I don’t care what someone says or does—they’re doing them, power to them! But when you haven’t lived with a mental illness, don’t throw words around lightly.
Ready to get deep? When I was 15 years old, I almost killed myself and was sent to a teenager psychiatric ward for a month. It was two weeks inpatient and two weeks outpatient. I missed Thanksgiving and almost Christmas. Honestly, some of my family called it a catastrophe but I see it in a totally different light. Who knows where I’d be if I wasn’t admitted?
My father always told me, “Well, if you had a broken leg, wouldn’t you go to the hospital?” He went on to tell me that it’s the same way with your brain. If you need to go, then go! Never be afraid to ask for help. You should be the one to reach out. It’ll probably be one of the most difficult things you can do but it will be worth it in the long run. No one has to feel that way forever because there are so many different treatment options, such as talk therapy, medication, or both!
The University of Massachusetts Boston has a great counseling area and it’s really easy to get in contact with someone if you need help:
UMass Boston
Quinn Administration Building – Second floor, 02-07
Phone: 617-287-5690
HOURS: Monday – Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Suicide Hotline: You can call or chat online!
1-800-273-8255