I unfortunately was absent from a speaking engagement where a member of the audience asked a good although a tad offensive question to one of the presenters. My colleague was there (we both do the education program and peer support group for a youth mental health organization) and she filled me in….
A woman from another mental health organization was sharing her story and said that she attempted suicide when she was 18 years to escape her home life but that she did not have a mental illness at the point (she was eventually diagnosed at age 35). During question period an audience member raised their hand and asked this woman how could she say she didn’t want have mental illness when she was 18 despite having attempted suicide? The woman did not really answer the question and my colleague attempted to do so.
What do you think?
Does attempting suicide mean that you have a mental illness?
I say that it does not. I feel like it goes back to the whole idea our society has about how different thoughts, emotions and behaviours means ill. This woman wanted to escape something painful and didn’t know what else to do. Isn’t that more proof of a lack of resources than of a mental health issue?
I’m interested to hear what you all have to say!