We’ve given you names and faces of idols who have committed suicide in the last several years. We’ve given you alarming figures and statistics of suicide rates on the rise in Asia as a whole. But the question remains: what are we going to do about it…and that’s a tough one, isn’t it?
You see, there are quite a few obstacles in our path in dealing with mental health issues in Asia. First we have the people who don’t believe there are any problems at all; the Ostriches, if you will. Then there are the people who, despite their good intentions, do more harm in their quest for justice: the Crusaders. Then we have the individuals who believe that problems exist but don’t think that they can do anything about it or think someone else will take care of it so they ignore it: the Mob.
The Mob is who we want to address. A lot of you have probably heard on popular crime television series about “the mob mentality” or “the herd mentality” but do you understand exactly what it is and how much damage it can do? This so called mob mentality forces good, heart of gold people not to act when they know help is needed. These people see and acknowledge that there is a problem but believe so wholeheartedly that someone else will take care of it so they do nothing. And this perhaps causes more damage than the Ostriches and the Crusaders combined.
The inaction caused by the mob mentality is dangerous. After all, someone who is struggling can often find comfort and encouragement in the words of others. But that same person can also feel desperation, anxiety, and depression when faced with the stark reality of no one caring enough to even offer them kind words. Someone on the edge of suicide could really use the simple kindness of a “Hey you’re doing great!” but instead they receive absolutely nothing because everyone assumes that someone else will say something. And you know what they say about assumptions…….
So what can we do? The answer to that is both simple and complex. The simple answer is to offer a kind word or gesture even if you’re sure that some other person probably already has. The complex answer? Stop assuming. It’s time to go against human nature itself and stop waiting for others to solve all the problems. It may not seem like it when faced with a group of hundreds or even thousands of people, but your words and actions matter. They could even one day be a matter of life and death.
Do you understand now?