**Trigger Warning: Depression, Suicide**
You have to understand, I am very vocal about my own mental health journey, as much as I can be, so the loss of anyone’s life in this fashion, shakes me to my core. What could we, as a society, have done to help him?
I also remember the very first Power Rangers. I asked my Dad to set the VCR to record it every day while I was at school. I think I was in High School at the time. I had begun discovering anime and when this came on I was hooked. I had such a crush on almost the entire cast (hello early bisexual) but then he appeared on screen, the Green Ranger. I was so obsessed with him that my friends bought me a Green Ranger action figure for my birthday one year (YAY! Happy Memory Unlocked!). My teenage self was thirsty.
I eventually got older. Stopped watching Power Rangers and moved on with my life. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties and attending my first-ever convention, that he popped back up… literally right in front of me. Here was the Green Ranger, covered in tattoos walking through the convention hall on his way somewhere… I was SHOCKED. I later found out that he was extremely popular in the convention circuit.
Now, I tried to take a picture but was blocked by a bodyguard, understandable. I didn’t pay to meet him but watching him meet fans, he seemed sweet and so appreciative. Going to a large convention and seeing his booth always made me smile.
I think that we often forget that these public figures we love (or hate) so much, are people. We see them on tv in interviews, shows, or movies. They seem happy, but we judge their mishaps and put them on pedal stools that are unfair. We set them at a much higher standard than the rest of us.
I had this conversation recently about Letitia Wright, who you may know as Shuri from Black Panther. Our main conflict was, whether is it ok for celebrities to spread possibly harmful misinformation, but that’s a conversation for another time.
The point is that we also set them so high and so separate from ourselves and the every day population that we forget they are just like us. Do we love them so much that they hide it and push on, to their own detriment? Do they feel like they can’t talk about their thoughts, feelings, and mental illness because it’s still such a stigma it may affect their careers or our opinions of them? If that is all true, what can we do, as fans, to help them?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time that we stop harassing celebrities on the internet for not being what WE want them to be or the decisions that are completely out of their hands and take that energy to thank them. That’s all. Thank you for providing me joy, and thank you for helping me through a hard time, I hope you are doing ok. Your work means a lot to me.
I am sure that Jason was fighting a battle that we can’t even imagine and my heart goes out to his family and friends. I am truly sorry that it ended this way. After all, he was a person. Imperfectly flawed, like the rest of us.
So at the end of the day, I can’t tell him… thank you for being a part of the one thing I looked forward to in my day through high school. Thank you for being a bright light in a very dark time. I can’t tell him, but there are others I can thank.
Who are you going to thank?
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away
- Call 911 for emergency services.
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Support is also available via live chat. Para ayuda en español, llame al 988
If You Have a Family Member or Friend in a Crisis
If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. Take seriously any comments about suicide or wishing to die. Even if you do not believe your family member or friend will actually attempt suicide, the person is clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment.