THEY HAVE THEIR OWN ISLAND IN ST. THOMAS?! Yup. "Real World: St. Thomas" kicked off tonight, and while you'd figure having your own island in the U.S. Virgin Islands would make life completely worry-free, tough times can happen anywhere.
All seven roommates made their way to their resort-like island by boat, and hit it off quite well. Mostly. Brandon felt like a bit of an outcast among three quite muscular, athletic male roommates -- Robb, Swift, and homecoming king/captain of the football team, Trey. Putting that aside, Brandon begins to feel closer and closer to Laura, who opens up to him before any of the other roommates about being adopted the day after she was born. Brandon crushes and feels that much closer to her. Then he finds out she later told Trey, too, and that Trey is attracted to her, which definitely didn't sit well with Brandon. Later admitting his insecurities to Trey, Brandon finds himself in a bit of a tropical storm of emotions. After he goes to bed, Trey finds Brandon's journal in which he's written some very disturbing words.
His journal entry was a sign that there was something much deeper going on. How would you have handled the situation? What would you do to help a friend who is feeling really down or talking about hurting themselves? It's sometimes hard to know what to say to a friend when you're worried. Here's some messages you can share with a friend in need:
+ We all go through tough times. Sometimes people see asking for help as a sign of weakness so you can comfort your friend by giving them an example of a time you or someone you know struggled and needed support.
+ You can feel better. Your friend may feel hopeless or like no one can understand or help them, so it's important to make them see that reaching out for support is the first step to feeling better. Mental health problems are treatable and manageable once identified, so sometimes we need a mental check-up in the same way we get other medical exams.
+ It's OK to ask for help. Remember, that our backgrounds, cultures and experiences can have a huge impact on how we view help-seeking. Some people may come from families or ethnic groups where asking for help or seeing a mental health professional is shunned or thought of as weak. Thinking about why a friend might be reluctant get help can be important in deciding how to suggest they reach out for support.
If you need help figuring out how to support a friend, or you or someone you know needs help immediately, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) anytime for a confidential conversation with a counselor.