September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and throughout the last few weeks, Instagram has become flooded by empowering survival stories. A new hashtag, #faceofdepression, is adding an important layer of depth to the widespread conversation, and it’s one we simply can’t ignore.
What does a depressed person look like? What does someone with suicidal thoughts look like? Many of us would probably picture a crumpled up, crying shell of a person on a bathroom floor. The reality that #faceofdepression is trying to explain, however, is that people struggling with mental health issues often hide it in their everyday lives – meaning that they look like just about any other person you’d pass on the street.
One of the most touching contributions to the campaign was a video recently shared by Talinda Bentley, widow of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, showing him laughing and smiling just 36 hours before his tragic suicide. Don’t take everything at ‘face’ value. If you think or know someone is struggling, ask the hard questions before it’s too late.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 if you or someone you know needs urgent help. Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to their official website to live chat with a counselor.