TW: The following article contains mention of mental health issues and behaviors that can elicit an extreme emotional or psychological response.
Many celebrities are sharing messages in honor of World Mental Health Day to raise awareness and express support for those who may be struggling. For her part, Good Place star Jameela Jamil revealed that she survived an attempt on her own life six years ago — and she’s opening up about it, so others might know suicide is preventable and help is available.
Jamil took to Twitter on Thursday to share the admission, explaining that she sought treatment for her mental health issues after the incident. “Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay,” she wrote. “This month, 6 years ago, I tried to take my own life. I’m so lucky that I survived, and went on to use EMDR [Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a form of therapy] to treat my severe PTSD. I urge you to hang on just a bit longer and ask for help if you need it. Because things can turn around. I promise.”
In the comments, she continued, “There is so much work to do in improving awareness and mental health care, and we need to further de-stigmatize conversation around asking for help. While you’re gathering strength, I recommend the work of @matthaig1 @Ayishat_Akanbi and @scarcurtis. ALL my love to you.”
Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay This month, 6 years ago, I tried to take my own life. I’m so lucky that I survived, and went on to use EMDR to treat my severe PTSD. I urge you to hang on just a bit longer and ask for help if you need it. Because things can turn around. I promise.
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 10, 2019
The actress, in addition to being courageous in sharing her story, also makes an extremely salient point — the stigma that surrounds mental health is a potentially life-threatening deterrent. If someone is struggling and doesn’t feel comfortable enough to ask for help, they won’t receive help. But if someone knows they can be honest and vulnerable with their feelings, and if there is easy access to suicide-prevention resources, they’re much more likely to seek (and receive) the help that they need, much like Jamil did.
This unique breed of vulnerable boldness has become Jamil’s modus operandi. Earlier this week, in response to a troll telling her she was “too old” to wear a certain dress, Jamil clapped back by revealing she “had cancer twice” and now considers aging “an achievement/privilege.”
And it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say her history with mental health issues informs that life perspective as well. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness or unbearable pain, the feeling of being a burden, an increased state of anxiety or any other warning sign of suicide, take Jamil’s advice and hang on.
If you need to talk to someone, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.