I think what's important at times like this is to truly reflect on all those times we silently said to ourselves - typically following some mass murder or famous celebrity's death - how important mental health was and how mindful we would strive to be of it's impact on ourselves and the people around us. Similarly, at times like these, it's important to remember all those times we watched online videos, commented on Facebook threads and followed along on Twitter as the harsh truths of racism, prejudice and police brutality smacked us right in the forehead. Mental health and well-being is something we can all help improve by taking care of ourselves, seeing therapists, seeking first to understand then to be understood, and exercising empathy in our actions and judgments of others. Racism is something we can all help by not resting on the tokenism of "my one Black friend" or the comforts of "I'm sure it's not like that where I live" or "they probably didn't have the wrong intentions" or other things people try to say to themselves and others when racism shows up and the easier thing to do is to ignore it and try to get past it rather than to embrace it as truth, reality and do something about it, even if that something is just to listen to the person who just experienced it, however slight. With both mental illness and racism, one of the typical effects is that the person who's affected gives hints or says something, albeit subdued, but many people within range to see/hear usually dismiss it as a phase or something that "isn't really that big a deal" or something "you shouldn't blow out of proportion." Whether it's the suicide of a famous celebrity or the public lynching of a Black man by men with badges, the reality is that the world would be a much better place people listened - truly listened - which is something I tried to touch on a bit in a recent post on empathy.