…to get people to treat mental illness like any other illness?
Surely Robin Williams’ death has brought depression, suicide, addiction and other mental illnesses into the forefront this week. But will this one tragedy be enough to make a real difference, when sadly, there have been countless other just-as-tragic stories as this one?
If we felt compelled to look for a silver lining, would it be that most people are finally listening, because we truly loved Robin Williams and are deeply saddened to lose him to an illness that clearly caused him much pain?
I hope so. The cost of this exposure is high, though, and will continue to be paid by thousands of others who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. Mental Illness is treatable, but many forego getting treatment because of stigma or insurance issues. These are the barriers (along with others) that the mental health community has been trying to fight for years. Mental Illness is just not as ‘glamorous’ as cancer or heart disease, but it is just as prevalent, if not more so.
We can’t expect the nation (or world’s) view on mental illness to change over the course of one really sad week. But hopefully, this will bring awareness that will someday eradicate stigma, and allow those suffering to get the same level of compassion and treatment for mental illness as they would with heart disease and cancer.
It starts with joining the conversation and learning more about what mental illness is…and what it isn’t. Please click the link below to listen to our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Buch, on a radio interview with WCTC 1450am talk radio on Tuesday morning, the day after Mr. Williams’ death. He discusses depression and how it can lead to self-medication and suicide. We will never fully understand what Robin Williams was feeling or thinking of on August 11. But maybe it can help people start to comprehend why someone with so much to live for sadly left us the way he did.
Click here to see what Mental Health industry leaders are saying.
Thanks for reading.
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