Is this just a coincidence, or is it that the silent madness that a lot of us Jamaicans have been experiencing is beginning to manifest in abundance? Professor Fred Hickling wrote in The Gleaner last year that a significant portion of the population suffers from some form of mental condition.
However, we are not availing ourselves of the necessary help because like for so many other things, we have attached a stigma to mental health.
We seem to find a way to stigmatise so many things in this country; a sign I believe of how mentally unstable we are. We conjure up all kinds of unnecessary drama to try and somehow escape reality. We have stigmatised the number two, we raise eyebrows if a man hugs another or expresses emotion of any kind (as if to say anger is not an emotion), we continue to bash homosexuals even though some of us who do are on the down low.
Some of our most notorious criminals have at one time or another been exposed as closet gays, so why are we still living this fantasy, this delusion?
What this amounts to is that many of us, especially our men, are forced to bottle up all their emotions for fear of being ridiculed, ostracised and stigmatised, so at the least sign of trouble we explode. It has got to a point now where we can't even spend enough time to listen to our kids, to show them love, to let them know that someone cares.
There should be no surprise then that our kids are resorting to killing themselves.
They must somehow believe that it's easier to be dead than to live among us.
we need help
Whether we want to accept it or not, we need to start acknowledging that individually and collectively we need help. Between the daily stresses of the excessively high cost of living and just trying to stay alive and on top of that the idiot politicians making our lives even more hellish, we are bound to need help.
And there is nothing wrong with needing help. In fact, it takes great courage to admit that we need help and we used to be a courageous people. We used to have fire in our bellies, the fire that helped the Maroons fight for their freedom.
It was that courage that put us on the path to independence.
Somewhere along the way that courage was replaced by something else and whatever that thing is, it has not been serving us well.
We need to find our way back to what we were before, a strong and proud people and the only way to start that process is to accept that we need help and ask for it.