Aug 26, 2014 | Robin Williams Suicide
It's taken me a few weeks to update our website in light of the passing of Robin Williams. There have been many reasons for this. Talking about a suicide, especially the suicide of someone who touched everyone's hearts in one way or another, is very sensitive. I've read many different articles since his passing, many written with compassion and empathy, many others with scarring words and stigma.
As a 90's baby, I grew up with Robin Williams in many ways. He was my genie, my Mrs. Doubtfire, my Alan Parish. He captivated my imagination and made me laugh like few other comedians could do. I've had Dead Poets Society on my to-watch list for a few years now, but I feel I can already resonate with O Captain, My Captain.
There is a fine line here, though, and finding that balance is proving itself to be a daunting task, even for those of us in the mental health field. On one hand, it's been years since mental health and suicide were this widely covered in the news. With this much coverage, people who are hurting without a doubt found access to phone numbers or local resources where they could get help. The reality that mental illness does not discriminate was highlighted over and over again. We can say with 100% confidence that Robin Williams was NOT lazy, selfish, weak, or crazy. So that MUST mean that other people who live with mental illness are also not lazy, selfish, weak, or crazy. This is stigma-busting stuff; information that professionals have been trying to get out there for years. With improved education comes improved services and access to those services.
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