An open letter to Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley,

I can understand that maybe you don’t like unsolicited advice on how to look after yourself. And I can understand that you may wish to tell people who offer such advice to get lost and mind their own business. But I can’t understand why you would feel the need to mock those with mental illness to do so.

1 in 4 people have some form of mental illness, and due to the stigma associated with it many will fear to seek treatment.

According to stats in the USA, there are 12.4 suicides per 100,000 population. You have nearly 14.5 million followers on Twitter. If you extrapolate from that, over 1700 of your Twitter followers will commit suicide this year.

That is 1700 people who do not have to die. 1700 families that will spend the rest of their lives wondering “why?”. 1700 families seeing in hindsight infinite signs, real and imagined, and feeling sick with guilt that they could have done something, should have done something.

Next week is Mental Illness Awareness week. I strongly encourage you to read through the National Alliance of Mental Illness website (http://www.nami.org/), and use your Twitter voice to reach out to your followers to help break the stigma.

You may even save some lives.

 

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