Billie Eilish: Reach out to your friends and make sure they’re ok

wenn35829557 is a website devoted to helping teens manage their mental health and encouraging them to reach out to their friends in case they are struggling. The message is wonderful and the website is really well thought out. It’s funny and engaging without downplaying the seriousness of its message. Check it out and share it, especially with your teens. Teenage sensation Billie Eilish just filmed a PSA for the site in which she admits she’s still trying to figure out her own mental health. She said there’s nothing wrong with that, just like there is no shame in asking for help:

A portion of Billie’s message:

It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help. It doesn’t. It doesn’t make you weak to ask for a friend to go to a therapist. It shouldn’t make you feel weak to ask anyone for help. And you should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it. You know, starting that conversation, you don’t have to make it super serious right away, you know, you say, “How are you feeling? Like, are you OK?”

Sometimes, you don’t even have to say anything to someone for them to know. They understand. And they don’t have to say anything to you. Sometimes it’s about a hug.

The main thing I am trying to say is that you should keep your ears open and you should listen. I’m just dealing with it how I’m dealing with it and I’m trying my best. Obviously, I’m not a trained professional in anything. I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. But I have seen it and I have been it. Even if it’s just a little bit more comfort, that could really mean a lot to someone. Because you don’t know what is going on, even in that moment, there could be something going on. It’s been like that for me. There have been certain people that texted me right when I needed to be texted.

I identify with a lot of what Billie said. My mom is a master at the no words comfort thing. She’ll pat my leg or rub my back in a way that feels like she’s erasing every worry I have. It’s amazing. And I have also received a text or email right when I needed it. That’s something I need to work on, reaching out to those around me.

But it’s her main point that really resonates with me. I wish the stigma of asking for help would go away. We all need help with something at some point. Just think how freeing it would be to get it. I don’t have the answers because I don’t ask for help when I should and sometimes I don’t accept the help that’s offered. But I am relearning this part of myself because I want my children to see me asking and accepting help. And we all could spend more time asking those around us if they are okay. In the beginning of her PSA, Billie said that everyone thinks everyone else is taking care of their mental health, that it’s just them that doesn’t have it figured out. It does feel that way, doesn’t it? All the people who tell you to let it go or get over it or just stop feeling the way you do, it always seems to me like they must have figured out how to do that and that I am the only person who can’t.

Ending on a positive: in all my years here at CB, both reading and writing, I have seen commenters time and again reaching out to each other in a really positive way, from “I’m so sorry” to advice to shared experiences. You’ve done it for me many times. I applaud you all in the generosity you’ve shown. You Bitches rock.




Photo credit: YouTube and WENN Photos

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15 Responses to “Billie Eilish: Reach out to your friends and make sure they’re ok”

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  1. Ann says:

    Anything that destigmatizes mental health struggles is positive in my book. I grew up in a household where things like depression and anxiety were not talked about and my father self-medicated with alcohol. As an adult, I have found therapy to be a huge help and strongly encourage EVERYBODY to prioritize their mental health. It will change your life for the better.

    • Oh No says:

      This! I grew up in a household where, although everyone meant well, the topic of mental was never really delved into. And when it was discussed, it was done in the blackest and whitest of terms.

      So when I would go through these cycles of feeling so disengaged and struggling to just be ‘me’, I thought it was a phase.

      …no one told me depression manifested in different ways, so I never sought help.

      Oh, the things I’d tell my teenage self! But at least I can share them with my younger family members

    • Ader says:

      Here are two hiccups:

      1) Mental health treatment is expensive.

      2) For those of us non-white folks who deal with actual disorders (bipolar, depression, etc.) are often misdiagnosed, or the white doctor doesn’t understand racial stress and implicit bias and only succeeds in making our mental health worse (thanks Dr. Fran!). And trying to find a black therapist “near you” can be damn near impossible.

      So, just sayin….therapy many not be an option, nor helpful, for everyone.

      • Brookecb says:


      • Anna says:

        You are 100% right. I will say, though, that both of those problems are due to bigger issues (the shitty condition of healthcare in the US, the fact that racism is still rampant in 2019) that aren’t specific to mental health or therapy, unfortunately.

  2. so_annoyed says:

    On June 7th, my 13 year old son attempted to take his life. He was on on life support and we didn’t know if he would live for 3 days. He was bullied all of his 7th grade year by 3 kids that told him daily that he was a retard, no one liked him, and he should kill himself. We had NO IDEA. He was always smiling + happy, and he was the absolute last person in the world I would have ever thought would do this. He was doing good until this Monday night when someone messaged him anonymously through an app called YOLO for snap chat that he should go kill himself and he wish he didn’t survive. (We went to the police and they are following up on this to find out who said it.)

    With his permission I posted on my IG stories about what happened last year and this week and I was floored by the responses I received. I even had to make it a highlight because people want to keep the conversation going. The sad part is that our story is not uncommon, this happens every single day. I told everyone to talk to your children, even if you feel they are too young, even when they are off in college. Bringing this stigma of depression, suicide thoughts, bullying out to the open is the only way it can stop. And parents NEED to have these conversations EVERY DAY about how to treat other people and make sure their children are not doing harm to others. I am SO HAPPY this is coming out more because it is truly terrifying and heartbreaking.

    • Vaya says:

      I’m So f*cking sorry this happened to you, your family, and especially your kid. I’ll send you thoughts, prayers, and a promise that I’ll call out bullies when I see or hear them. Right now, I really wish I could give you guys a good hug.

      • Shaniam says:

        I am SO SORRY for you and your son. My son was bullied in middle school and he was/is a great looking, charismatic, funny kid – the last person anyone would think it would happen to. My husband said “fight back” and I said NO. I don’t believe in violence, spanking, etc BUT when my son hit back that was it. He was never bullied again.

      • Mei says:

        I second what Vaya says. Sending all the love to you all, especially your son <3

    • waitwhat says:

      I am sickened by your experience so_annoyed and send you and your family (esp your sweet boy) love. I have a 15 yo boy and can relate to your situation. I have been shocked by how easily kids say “kill yourself” to each other. I hope the anony kid who sent that cruel message to your son is found and dealt with appropriately. Hang in there…as you have discovered, you are far from alone.

    • Hecate says:

      @so_annoyed – I am very sorry for the pain you and your son have gone through. I applaud the bravery you both have shown by telling his story, others will learn and grow from it so thank you.

      We just passed the 35 year anniversary of when my brother put a gun to his head as a teen. He survived and eventually thrived. It does get better. Much peace to your family

    • Betsy says:

      Oh my. I’m so sorry.

  3. Lady Keller says:

    I definitely agree that it seems like everyone else has it all figured out. I dont ever talk to anyone or seek help because I am tired of feeling like a screw up. I don’t reach out to other people because I just assume they are all doing fine, everyone else seems to be keeping it together compared to me.

    I truly hope we can grow to be a society where we can admit our mental health issues with no fear or stigma attached. As someone who genuinely struggles with mental health a lot of the time these campaigns feel like lip service, people like to say the words but that’s as far as it goes.

    • Ader says:

      Hi Lady Keller. I feel ya. The whole “social media” pit is a hell. Researchers have revealed that social media and “how we live today,” is downright dangerous. And yet, for us writers, if we want to get a gig, we need to prove that we have a “social media presence.” It’s like asking a cancer patient to forgo chemo. (Because staying away from social media is often part of mental health patients’ “cocktail.”)

      Try to remember that everyone who is posting all that “LOOK AT MEEEEEE! Look how great my life ISSSSSSS!,” is probably faking the damn funk, too.

      Hugs, gurl.

  4. Starkiller says:

    Not only should asking for help be okay, but folks in authority positions need to be better at responding to these requests, I was bullied horrifically most of the way through school, and I did ask for help, many times, the responses I generally received were to “grow a thicker skin” (from teachers) , my parents generally couldn’t be bothered, and when my mother did occasionally try to speak to a parent about it, she was basically laughed in her face. Granted this was the 90s/00s and there was much less awareness and advocacy around this issue. It’s great how far we’ve come, but we still have a long way to go, and need to remain vigilant.