Suicide is a major global health problem, with someone dying every 40 seconds according to the World Health Organization. It’s especially prevalent in my home-state Utah, where it is the leading cause of death for people aged 10-17. Tragically, many of these suicides are LGBTQ teens, and religion is often a contributing factor. In 2015, the Mormon church excommunicated anyone acting on their homosexuality and barred children of gay parents from joining their church. This kind of teaching can have severe consequences for mental health, as it promotes hate and intolerance.
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons has spoken out about this issue, expressing guilt over his religion’s harmful teachings. He said, “To be gay is beautiful and right and perfect; to tell someone they need to change their inner-most being is setting up someone for an unhealthy life and unhealthy foundation.” It’s heartbreaking to think about young people feeling guilty and condemned for who they are.
If you know someone struggling with mental health, please reach out to them and offer a listening ear. If you see a teenager who is having a difficult time, be a friend to them, encourage and love them, and remind them that they are perfect just as they are and that they have a place in this world. Validate their feelings and let them know that you understand the pain they are going through. If necessary, point them in the direction of professional services, such as WiseMind Counseling, where a psychologist helping teens in Denver can offer support. Together, we can work to reduce the devastating rate of suicide and support those in need.
It’s important to recognize that mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, or background. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, it’s important to seek help. There are many resources available, including therapy, support groups, and medication. It’s never too late to get the help you need and start the journey toward healing and recovery.
It’s also crucial to address the root causes of mental health issues, such as discrimination, stigma, and prejudice. We need to create a more accepting and inclusive society that values diversity and promotes the well-being of all individuals. This includes challenging harmful beliefs and practices that contribute to mental health problems and working to create a more supportive and understanding environment for everyone.
In conclusion, suicide is a major global health issue that requires urgent action. By supporting those struggling with mental health and addressing the root causes of these issues, we can work towards a future where everyone can live a healthy and fulfilling life. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the appropriate resources. Remember, you are not alone and there is hope for a better tomorrow.
Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.