Battling Mental Health In America
Bailey James is a rising country star, who is using her platforms to help change the world for the better. She lost her brother to suicide and since has joined the The Jason Foundation as their first national teen ambassador. Their purpose is to counter the youth suicide pandemic. This is Baileys story and how she is creating awareness through the art of music.
You are not alone, just as I am not alone. We are all existing and trying to find our way the best way we can. And although it would be wrong to assume that this is the most difficult time to exist in the history of mankind, it would be fair to say it has to be near the top.
I am 17 years old and face all the everyday life struggles of being a teen; social, economic, and political pressures as I start to “adult.”
Do I want to go to college? Where do I want to live? Do I want to be in a relationship? Chase my passion or fight to exist? How hard am I willing to work, and what am I willing to concede to realize those long term wants and my everyday needs? All of that is enough to create a mental health crisis in anyone.
Now you drop 2020 on top; riots, civil unrest, political unrest, natural disasters, and a pandemic… that is like dropping a hydrogen bomb on a nuclear power plant.
Mental health disaster is imminent.
I wrote and released a song, “World You’re Livin’ In,” recently. It is a song about battling mental health today, right now. I think people are numb and struggling, reverting to the most basic of human instincts… SURVIVAL.
We move through the everyday heads down and bury ourselves in the day-to-day, so we cannot see the ugliness all around us. We push forward, hoping, praying that we will find the other side, and it will be a better existence.
It is not just kids either. It’s everyone; I draw strength from my mom and dad. Before my teenage brother passed away to suicide, my dad was a very happy, go lucky guy, optimistic, full of life, love, and drive. After the loss of my brother, Zane, my dad went down a rabbit hole. He drank himself into alcoholism, became broken, withdrawn, pessimistic and lost his way. He became the “bizarro” dad.
My dad has since stopped drinking and refuses to give up on life. He said, and I quote, “life will get mean, and you have to get meaner.” He told me that he wanted me to know that whatever I face in this life, that there is a strength in me and in all of us that can overcome any challenge.
My dad may not be able to secure happiness the way he once lived, but he can find solace in helping others through the worst of times.
That is where I am.
Some say you’re 17, and you shouldn’t carry this type of heavy burden on your back. I say, if not me, then who?
We can change this!
It just takes one act of kindness to start an avalanche of love. I am far from an expert, but I am a survivalist. By engaging those in my inner circle, family and friends, I know that they will help pick me up and dust me off and keep moving in the right direction.
We are all in this together. If you or someone you know is struggling, please speak to someone, anyone. I will not be silent! I hope that you will join me. You might find comfort in talking about it, but one thing I think that you will learn quickly is that you are not alone… you have to talk to people you love—family, friends, etc. When you start talking about it, you begin to unravel it in your own head. Many people think mental health is taboo, but it should be treated like any other illness.
You don’t have to fight alone, and you don’t have to fight. There are so many ways to combat mental illness. Exercise helps me clear my head. It’s all about finding what works for you. I truly believe if we tell people the ways they can help themselves with their mental illness. We could save so many lives.