The calendar has found its way back to April Fool’s Day, and with it comes my annual reminder that mental health should never be the punchline of any joke and should never be a part of an April Fool’s day prank.
I was originally going to say mental health is never funny, but sometimes it is. Sometimes for me it is incredibly therapeutic to poke fun at the ridiculous things I do because of my mental illness that leave others, and often myself, flummoxed. It seems like sometimes the best way to battle the darkness is with the lightness of laughter. Sometimes the darkness lends itself to dark humor, and that helps. It is different though from mental health generally or someone else’s mental health being the butt of the joke.
And I do think society is getting better at recognizing that mental illness needs to be taken seriously, not treated as a joking matter. Yet there is still too much negativity and stigma surrounding mental illness and using is a joke or a April Fool’s prank will only ever fuel that.
So have a safe, enjoyable April Fool’s day everyone, but leave mental health out of it.