By Ke’Ana Lampkins
Between the pandemic, the current state of our criminal justice system, and the continual senseless murder of Black lives, mental health is on a decline.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Jas Waters’, also known as JasFly died by suicide. JasFly was a writer for NBC’s hit show, This is Us. She also wrote for Comedy Central’s show Kidding and she is also credited as a writer for the film, What Men Want. JasFly has been remembered as “a brilliant storyteller and force of nature.”
At the end of May, an influential YouTuber Napp Queen, also known as Shana Donaqhue, was murdered by her boyfriend of 10 years. She had broken up with him two years prior and had recently allowed him to move in with her. She had records of describing him as abusive on her YouTube channel and to her co-workers. She worked in elementary schools teaching children how to eat healthily. She has been described as a “loving and gentle soul.” Donahue’s supervisor and friend, Jennifer Mampara said, “She will be remembered for loving the children she worked with, having incredible deep passion, supporting the community she grew up in, and helping people be healthier and stronger.”
Napp Queen’s and JasFly’s deaths is an indicator that we must prioritize our mental health and wellness. There are links between hopelessness and suicide along and links between trauma bonding and domestic violence. Recognizing the signs to seek help is vital to our lives. While neither of their deaths is any fault of their own, we can honor their lives by calling to attention any abnormal behaviors within ourselves or others.
In the case of Napp Queen, we, of course, don’t know all the facts, but we do know that she broke up with him for a time (about two years) and recently just got back with him. We know that 9 times out of 10 victims of domestic violence return to their abuser for many reasons such as trauma bonding. What is important to note is that there have been more calls to the police regarding domestic situations during the Pandemic. Many abusers abuse due to a need to feel power and control. The Pandemic and the murder of black lives are huge threats to feeling in control.
With Jas Waters, it’s important to note that when overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, you often feel there is no way out which leads to the suicidal ideation and creation of a plan.
With both of these deaths in mind please reach out to any friend who seem to be struggling and even those who seem fine. But also to friends who may have shown any signs of being in an abusive relationship.
If this is, in fact, you, please know that things can and will get better. Reach out for help through suicide hotline (800-273-8255 (24/7) or domestic violence hotline (1−800−799−7233). If not, reach out to a trusted friend or family member. You are important, you matter, and you are loved.
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Ke’Ana Lampkins is a contributing writer for The Pedestal Project, LLC. Ke’Ana is a Christian, wife, and mother dedicated to empowering young girls and women through counseling, mentorship, and education. Connect with her on Instagram @Beautifully_Yanni.