One in Five

Yesterday Kids Help Phone announced that 1 in 5 Canadian youth have seriously considered suicide in the past year. I’m neck deep in another project right now, but I wanted to take a moment to speak to this. Mental health must be considered on the same level as physical health. One step toward that would be having a kind of 911 number that is specifically for mental health emergencies. Toll free numbers are great but they fall short in that people can’t easily recall them. Having a easily recalled three digit number would be greatly helpful not just for mental health sufferers in crisis, but for the bystanders who might be able to effectively help if they had a number they could remember and call. I wrote a little piece about it. I didn’t have time to do a fancy video or put together music, but the subject is important to me and I couldn’t say nothing. Hopefully I can revisit it someday and properly dedicate myself to it. Audio is attached if you prefer to listen.

One in five

today one in five
wondered if being alive
was worth the cost
of another day
wondering if 2 in 10
wondered when
there was finally going to be
a 911 for mental health

4 in 20 wondered if the wealth spent on the self decided salaries of politicians
who claim the children are our future
could pay for it

maybe 1 of the 8
of the 8 in 40
quit wondering
and started making plans

maybe 3 of the 16
of the 16 in 80
feel like unrecycled cans
that are just easier to throw away

Maybe one fifth of 160
is easier to say than 32
because 32 is starting to sound like a lot

a toll free number is not enough
give us a number
everyone knows by heart
so the next time we see someone’s world falling apart
we can do more than just stand there

because the scars we can’t see
require different care than the ones left there by crime or by accident
sometimes there’s no hint
to tell you where it hurts
it just hurts

sometimes our minds are red alerts
you can’t see
even when you look us in the eye
sometimes we cry for what others would consider no reason
sometimes the treason we commit
is against ourselves

it’s hard enough
trying to find who we are
amid the overcrowded shelves of pills
meant to manage how we function

sometimes the junction box is broken
and we miss the connections
that others seem to make with ease

if you threw away the 1
of the 1 in 5 keys
that could open the door
to the room the world forgot we were locked in

if kindness makes us friends
let compassion make us kin
don’t let us get lost in the numbers again

illness is illness

sometimes the cost to heal it
is an ear willing to listen
sometimes a shoulder
volunteering to be a crutch

people are not a price to be weighed against your budget

1 in 5
is 2 much.

By Shane Koyczan


About Secret Stains

I wanna do something that matters, say something different, something that sets the whole world on it's ear. i wanna do something better with the time I've been given and I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life to prove I was here. I apologize if I seem absent minded sometimes. Sometimes I forget I'm still awake and say things out loud. Inside I am beginning to burst at the seams. There are so many secrets ... so many scars ... so many stains. This is me. Welcome to my world.
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