We love when celebrities and role models use their spotlight to spread a positive message, highlight an important issue, or shed light on a difficult topic. In this year’s Oscar acceptance speech for best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” screenwriter Graham Moore used his thirty-seconds of fame to share his personal struggle with depression:
“When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong,” And now I’m standing here, and so I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”
Considering that teen suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death overall in the U.S. and the third-leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, we hope that these words of inspiration will reach anyone who is suffering from depression or contemplating hurting themselves. We hope that teens will learn to love and accept their unique, quirky, nerdy, athletic, talented, beautiful selves. We hope that they find their fit. Then again, maybe ‘fitting in’ is overrated. As Lights Poxleitner said, “Honestly, if you don’t fit in then you’re probably doing the right thing.”
If you think you or someone you know may be at risk of self-harm, there is always help. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and visit the resources below.
Stay weird. Stay different.