I recently read a story about a young man that was believed to have walked in front of a train on purpose. He was only 17 years old. You can read more details of his story at https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/01/02/my-baby-walked-front-train-georgia-tech-football-recruits-mom-details-his-final-days/. The story is heartbreaking. As a licensed mental health professional it is clear he was having some sort of mental health crisis based on the mother’s account of his behavior in the days leading up to walking in front of the train. The family had been homeless and he’d been questioning life and tried seeking comfort from his mother. She admits to being unable to help him because she needed help herself. My heart goes out to both of them as stress is something that everyone deals with differently.
Open Dialogue on Mental Health by Dr. Ee’a Jones ~ February 2020
The first question was why didn’t anyone help this family? The mother said she’d been trying to get help for months. I also wondered what had happened in the family that other family members were not able to help them out. I can’t judge why they did not open their respective homes to the family as I do not know the circumstances. I’ve stated in previous months on this blog that stopping the stigma is a responsibility on all of us. She had to have had family or friends that knew she was homeless. And why didn’t she go to a shelter? I don’t have answers to these questions and I assume there’s reasons why none of these things happened for the family. I don’t have circumstances, etc., about the family but the questions still linger.
There’s no way we can keep our mouths shut about how mental health affects us. We have to be vigilant about what’s going on with family, friends, and even coworkers that are around us every day. Open dialogue is a must. We have to keep it on people’s minds so we don’t forget how important it is to watch for signs and symptoms of mental illness. I discussed signs and symptoms in my blog entitled Advocating for Persons with Mental Illness (https://sinceremediapro.com/advocating-for-persons-with-mental-illness/) back in July 2017. And in July 2018, I wrote a blog entitled Why Is Suicide Seen as a Way Out (https://sinceremediapro.com/why-is-suicide-seen-as-a-way-out-by-dr-eea-jones-july-13-2018/). I cannot reiterate it enough that we have to be advocates and do what we can. If you don’t know how to help, reach out to me or any other licensed mental health professional for resources. We cannot be afraid to speak up or ask questions when we see people hurting. Please…our lives depend on it…literally.
Beachum, L. (January 2, 2020). ‘My baby walked in front of a train.’ Georgia Tech football recruit’s mom details his final days. Retrieved January 2, 2020 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/01/02/my-baby-walked-front-train-georgia-tech-football-recruits-mom-details-his-final-days/).
Jones, E. (July 13, 2018). Why is Suicide Seen as a Way Out. Retrieved January 2, 2020 from https://sinceremediapro.com/why-is-suicide-seen-as-a-way-out-by-dr-eea-jones-july-13-2018/
Jones, E. (July 10, 2017). Advocating for Persons with Mental Illness. Retrieved January 2, 2020 from https://sinceremediapro.com/advocating-for-persons-with-mental-illness/