Ohia Paris

First post: Apr 22, 2022 Latest post: Apr 25, 2022
Ohia Paris passed away by suicide on the morning of April 14, 2022, after a long struggle with mental illness. He was 17 years old, and just weeks from graduating from high school.

From his birth, Ohia was exuberant and joyful, throwing himself with intense immersion at whatever caught his attention. He was wicked smart. He developed expertise quickly in everything he tried. He effortlessly attracted loving friends. His development in high school wrestling was awe inspiring and one of many shining accomplishments.

Externally visible signs suggesting a fulfilled life sometimes belie a person's inner experience. When mental health struggles are marginalized or shrouded in shame and guilt, some people show exceptionally on the outside, but tend their growing crops of pain privately and with no help or not enough help. By sharing openly about Ohia's seldom-recognized mental illness, we hope to encourage our culture to accept mental health as just as appropriate and worthy of conversation as physical health. Then maybe more people can be comfortable being seen accurately, and then can get the help they need.