April 7, 2015 | Let's Talk About Cancer (I mean, Mental Illness) | Andrea Kemble
In 2013, there were 580,350 deaths by cancer in the United States which makes cancer the 2nd leading cause of death. At some point or another in your life, you will know someone who is or has been touched by cancer. When this happens, you will probably share your condolences and say something along the lines of, "You will make it through this" or "You're a fighter". Talking about cancer is not a taboo subject. It's a terrible and unfortunate thing that happens to people and we talk about it openly.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you become a fighter and a survivor. Going into remission is lavishly celebrated - as it should be - because you've fought and your body won. You've beaten cancer. Anything you could think to buy can be bought with portions of the sale going to cancer research, especially if it is pink for breast cancer.
Well, what if I replace the word 'cancer' with 'mental illness' or 'suicide'? The way we respond changes drastically. We shy away from the subject like it's the plague. Why do we only talk about it in hushed tones and behind closed door as if it is not a problem? In 2012, 9.6 million Americans aged 18 and older suffered from a serious mental illness. In 2013, there were 1.6 million people diagnosed with new cases of cancer. The prevalence of mental illness is higher than cancer and yet, we are afraid to talk about it. [...]
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