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Letter to the editor

Stigmas, stereotypes and suicide

October 11, 2012

First, I must say that I am very disappointed in last week’s issue of the Student Voice. When we have something tragic, such as deaths, wouldn’t it make sense to draw more attention to the deeper issues that come out of it rather than have a whole page dedicated to nail painting?

When I see half of a page covered by a picture of painted nails, I get pissed off. Couldn’t you use that space to inform people of the mental illnesses that affect teenagers and young adults or to give suggestions of what people dealing with the aftermath of the deaths, especially a suicide, can do?

As someone who has depression, social anxiety, bipolar and has attempted suicide a number of times, I must say that I am appalled. Depression affects about 18.8 million American adults, and everyone will, at some point in their life, be affected by depression.

Why don’t we talk about this more? Why don’t we address the issue? It’s because people don’t understand or don’t want to understand. They have their pre-conceived notions of what a person dealing with depression is like and they don’t care to change it. Well, I for one am going to do something about this.

The new campus organization, Active Minds, is a student led group aimed at erasing the stigma surrounding mental health on our campus. If everyone would just listen to what they have to say, they would know that everyone needs to know how to deal with depression. So yes, when I opened the recent issue of the Student Voice, I yelled and I cursed because mental health does not get the awareness that it deserves.

Becca Payne
Fridley, Minn.