Remember that face above?
I was stunned this afternoon to find out that Lee Thompson Young, formerly of Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson, and recently of Rizzoli and Isles, had passed away today. I remember him being one of my first tv crushes, and making meeting and marrying him one of my first long-term goals. From the looks of many of my peers via social media, we shared the same sentiments. He was handsome, seemed charming, and kept up various roles past his time as a Disney child star.
What was even more stunning, though, was that reports of his death came with a speculation of suicide as the cause. Many were struggling with the concept of why or how it could happen to someone that seemed to live a fairly even keeled life, but if this is indeed the way this young man left this Earth, there is often a level to life that those struggling with depressive, suicidal thoughts never reveal.
I realize that depression is a very tough subject to tackle, and I am by no means an expert or authority on the issue. What I can do, though, is offer support, and encourage each of you out there to look at mental health issues as more than something to joke about occasionally. Don’t let someone’s pain and suffering be your punchline.
Check in on your friends. If you haven’t seen someone in a while, look into their well being. Care about people. You don’t have to make grand gestures; just letting someone know that you’re thinking of them could make all of the difference. Recognize the signs of depression and offer support and love to your friends and acquaintances that may be going through. Help combat the stigmas that surround mental health- encourage people that may need it to seek help and be unashamed.
It doesn’t take much, but I feel that these little steps can make a world of difference in someone’s life, and help those tough talks about mental health become a little less tough. So while I can’t marry Jett Jackson, I can use what little influence in my corner of the interwebs to ensure something good comes of his tragic passing.