"They Say" Poem *Behind The Scenes*

The debut of A.S. Minor 's mental health awareness spoken word poem, "They Say," 2015

The debut of A.S. Minor 's mental health awareness spoken word poem, "They Say," 2015

As many of you may have seen by now, one of my poems ("They Say") was featured on Upworthy. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to watch it, and to also explain the story behind it.

As many of you know, I am a huge mental health awareness advocate, and that's because I personally deal with mental health issues. The inspiration behind this poem came about shortly after Robin Williams passed away. Someone told me that they felt he was selfish (this was also before the entirety of his situation was revealed), and they went on to explain all the typical reasons that one gives to suicide. Of course this was not the first time that I'd heard this line of thought, but as someone who has dealt with suicidal ideation for quite some time, it really rubbed me wrong. Yes, I felt that Williams' situation was tragic, but like many who deal with mental health issues, I also felt hopeful that this might help erase the stigma surrounding suicide. When I realized that this was not the case, I decided to write that particular piece about suicidal ideation from an insider's point of view, in the hopes that it might help other "insiders" to not feel so alone, while simultaneously (hopefully) offering a little perspective and empathy to "outsiders."

After that poem was released by Upworthy, I began receiving many heartfelt messages from people who watched it around the world who could sympathize with the message. As of the writing of this message, that poem was received almost 400k views on the Upworthy video, and over a thousand on my YouTube video. It means more to me than I could possibly express that my message is not only spreading so far, but that it's purpose is being met. Thank you for all of your support, and if you haven't seen it, please check it out below: