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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #GenerationWhy: #Millennials Face Rising Rates of #Depression

Last week marked the first anniversary of the death of #KateSpade. 

The iconic designer died by #suicide, shocking (it seemed) the world as much as her family.

Spade’s design was known for being bright and sunny. Her handbags come in polka dots, her coffee cups in glitter. One of her most famous quotes was, “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”

Days after Spade’s death, #AnthonyBourdain fell victim to #suicide while working on his show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, in France.

Bourdain’s death came as a surprise, too, for many. He’d been quoted many times talking about his love for his work and life.

People like that, it’s thought, aren’t the kinds of people who die by #suicide. People with vast success, people who seem immensely happy, aren’t the kinds of people we expect to kill themselves.

But people like that take their own lives, anyway, even if the outside world doesn’t expect it.

While it might have seemed unexpected to lose Spade and Bourdain, death by #suicide is becoming more common, especially for Americans. #Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2016, according to data from the #AmericanPsychologicalAssociation, and the #suicide rate in the U.S. rose by 30 percent between 2000 and 2016.

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 #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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Rates of #depression and #suicidalbehaviors are on the rise for #Millennials, in particular, and #suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those aged 10-34.

But #Millennials are also uniquely equipped to face this growing #mentalhealthcrisis. We grew up more aware of #mentalillness, including #depression, #anxiety, and eating disorders, all illnesses with strong ties to #suicide. It’s a topic that we’ve kept communication relatively open on, slowly chipping away on the #stigma surrounding #mentalillness.

#Millennials and #GenerationZ have also made a point of emphasizing self-care and emotional awareness, both as part of the generational zeitgeist and as part of our interpersonal relationships. It’s made a difference in our approach to #mentalhealth, one that, over time, I hope seeps out from our peer group and into the rest of the world.

While my generation is making particularly strong strides on the front of #mentalhealth, it’s not a uniquely #Millennial problem, and there is much room for improvement across the board.

Removing the #stigma around #mentalillness and around asking for help with it is a great place to start. If people feel like they have a place to turn when they start to feel hopeless, the more likely they are to seek help. If they aren’t afraid of losing the support of family, friends, and coworkers, it can encourage those struggling with #mentalillness to seek help before it’s too late.

It’s hard to tell when someone is suffering, especially when you’re on the outside looking in. But #mentalillness does not discriminate, and #depression can hurt anyone.

We can learn a lesson from the tragic deaths of brilliant people. But for those lessons to make a difference, it has to start with those who are left behind and who can only hope to leave a little sparkle wherever we go.

Men and Suicide (2)

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