Suicide: How we react to mental health issues

Singer receives backlash

Serina Gousby

On March 28, R&B singer Kehlani made headlines after she posted an Instagram photo of her arm connected to an IV cord and her caption revealed that she had attempted suicide. This all stemmed from her ex-boyfriend and singer PartyNextDoor’s Instagram photo of them in bed earlier that day, while she was allegedly still in a relationship with NBA star Kyrie Irving. Her immature ex-boyfriend’s actions don’t matter, but what is important is the backlash her post received revealing that social media is the most disgusting platform in which to exist in today’s generation.

According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and on average there are 117 suicide deaths each day. This can be caused by many mental and emotional disorders ranging from depression to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Moreover, we should always be sympathetic and concerned for those who feel the urge to harm themselves.

Following Kehlani’s post, celebrities and fans sent positive responses and prayers to her, and the hashtag #staystrongKehlani immediately went viral. Yet, there is no surprise that Twitter exposed the hatred of close-minded people in the world, starting with singer Chris Brown claiming that Kehlani lied about her attempted suicide and tweeting “stop flexing for the gram. Doing [this] for sympathy so them comments don’t look bad.”

Many others followed with similar opinions and accusations. It’s simply devastating that we do not take suicide seriously as a nation.

Mental health is not a joke, nor is it a tool to use when you want sympathy and attention

at the height of a rumor that is attacking you. Social media is one of the worst places to announce an attempted suicide because, especially as a famous person, most Internet users don’t leave sympathetic or kind comments unless you are dead or do something very noble and meaningful. There is always someone who will judge you no matter the circumstance.

In addition, Kehlani posting a shocking, intimate photo that should be shared with only family and close friends to explain a rumor at the same time seems suspicious. We have no right to express opinions on how people deal with their mental struggles.

However, Kehlani could not have chosen a worse time to release information about her suicide attempt since she was accused of cheating that same day. Most likely, she was searching for sympathy from her fans and trying to educate others about mental illness.

The Instagram photos were eventually deleted soon after. Kehlani is now out of the hospital and everyone has seemed to move on. With hope and concern, she is getting help that she needs and taking a break from her career to minimize the chances of attempting suicide again.

Since this involved a celebrity, the incident was very prevalent in the media one day and then swept under the rug the next. But the thing is, everyday people are going through these exact same situations and it’s sad to see how everyone decides to care about a person’s life or well-being once they are dead. Whether she lied or not, suicide should always be considered a serious situation, and in no way should it be questioned or joked about. If you are struggling with any mental disorder or have thoughts of hurting yourself, please go to the Counseling Health and Wellness Center at 73 Tremont on the 5th floor.